Welcome!

We are so glad that you have found us! We invite you to come and hang out for a while and get to know us. You can learn more about us on the Who We Are page. We would also like to get to know you. Please tell us about yourself on the Engage With Us page. You can find out more about our life and what we believe life is all about by reading some of our favorite blogs listed to the right. Please provide your email address in the form to the right so you can receive our ministry updates and blog posts.


If you want to find out more about our message topics and event types or would like to schedule a speaking engagement please go the Schedule Us To Speak page.

Never Once Will We Ever Walk Alone

 

 “You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

Never OnceWe all hope and sometimes confidently believe that no matter what unexpected trials come our way that our faith will never waver. That is what I believed at least. It seemed that my faith had been tested so many times before, how could I possibly question anything now?

The first Sunday that we were back to church after being out because of sickness and so much sickness in the area, we sang the song “Never Once.” As I stood there, singing those words I knew that they were true. I knew that no matter how dark the journey that we had been on and no matter how alone I had felt, the truth was that God had never once left our side just has He had promised in Hebrews 13:5.

Only a few weeks before after Charles survived the major complications he had had from a common cold, we sat in another doctor’s office totally unexpecting the news he would give us. It was a somewhat routine check-up for what we thought was a regular sinus infection. But with a grim and sad look on his face, the doctor began to explain to us that he felt that Charles had a life threatening fungal infection and that we needed to go to Nashville immediately to be evaluated and have surgery.  

The news was devastating; far more devastating than I could have ever imagined or been prepared for. 

As the doctor came in and delivered the news, I felt like I broke into pieces on the floor. I had read stories in the past of other people that had gone through similar circumstances and how God had carried them through it. I was anticipating some kind of miraculous type feeling that God was with me but it wasn’t there. All I felt was a bottomless pit of despair. I didn’t know where to look, and I didn’t know where to turn. The one person that I would look to was the person that that I thought was most likely going to die. I didn’t know what to do.

As we got into our old van, and headed to Nashville, in the dark and rain, for two hours I struggled and cried out to the Lord. I couldn’t imagine why God would heal Charles a week before just for him to face such horrific suffering.

I didn’t know if I could trust in a God that would allow that.

Even though at 11pm that night we would get hopeful news that it was actually not the suspected life threatening sinus infection, it was this mindset of doubt and questioning that was the start of a spiral downward into a dark place that I had never been in my faith journey with the Lord. I remember texting my family and one of my very close friends one night a couple of weeks after this and asking them to pray for me because I knew that I was in a very dark and critical place.

But regardless of how dark and how deep that I went in my doubt ….God was always there.

I would pray during that time that God would use the small mustard seed of faith that I still had. It was only by God’s grace He renewed the hope and the firm foundation of faith that I had always stood on; my faith in Him.

I don’t know why for a short time I became so confused, sidetracked, and the road seemed so blurry. But I do know that no matter what, the God that I’ve always known, the God that I love, the God that I trust, the God that I forever placed my faith in – is who He truly says that He is.

What does our faith mean if it isn’t tested?

Though in so many ways I am ashamed and truly sorrowful of the journey that I went down and the doubt that I so easily gave in to, I am thankful that through it all, my faith is stronger, and my trust is deeper than it ever was before.

 “Scars and struggles on the way, But with joy our hearts can say, Never once did we ever walk alone. Carried by Your constant grace, Held within your perfect peace, never once, no, we never walk alone.”- Matt Redman

 

 

Written by: Spring on April 1, 2014
Join the conversation:Add a comment
| Comment Shortcut

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

A Visit from Southwestern

SWBTSWe were really blessed and honored to be interviewed by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary a few weeks ago.

We were really thankful to Michelle who did a great job at writing the article and we had fun hanging out with Adam and Josh for a weekend.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the article – here is the link: http://swbts.edu/campus-news/news-releases/couple-overcomes-obstacles-through-distance-learning-at-seminary/.

 

 

Written by: Spring on March 21, 2014
Join the conversation:Add a comment
| Comment Shortcut

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

Your Labor is Not in Vain

 “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

IMG951301Last night one of our caregivers commented that she didn’t know how I spent so much time getting ready every morning and am still able to go on with life as normal every day. I have had many people say that one of the most inspiring things about my story was that I was willing to continue life and serving the Lord every day even though I had to spend such a long time getting ready for the day every day.

This is a part of my story that many people always say impacts them. How can I do it?

My heart in sharing what God does in my life, through what I face each day, is that He can use it to encourage others.  

Every morning when I wake up I usually don’t feel very good and have a lot of tightness in my chest. Most people can probably relate this to how they would feel with a chest cold. I often do not sleep well at night and am very tired from having a weak heart along with the chest congestion issues. There are hopefully three people (one of which is often Spring) there to help me get up for the day. Because I am unable to move anything including my head, and have to use a ventilator, it takes several people to operate all of the machines and move me around.  I take a dose of cough syrup that takes about 15 minutes. One person sits me up, one person holds the ventilator hose, and one person hands off the medicine and water. Then I wait 30 minutes for it to start working. We next begin the process of transferring me to the room where I get ready which is a converted closet that takes another 20 minutes. We use an overhead lift and we have to get me onto the lift sling and transfer all of the machines over to the closet. I then do a breathing treatment with a nebulizer and have my trach suctioned and my chest cleared out with several cycles of people compressing on my chest with a cough assist machine which takes another 20 minutes (within the process of this I am having exercises done on my legs). I then use a percussion vest which I wear as it shakes my upper body vigorously to loosen secretions in my chest for another 12 minutes. I spend another 45 minutes bathing which includes shaving and washing my hair, 15 minutes doing trach care where my trach is taken out and a clean one is put in and for 5 minutes I am without the ventilator while someone is manually helping me breathe. I then spend another 30 minutes dressing, transferring to my wheelchair, and getting my ventilator hoses set up. It takes 20 minutes to put my contacts in, dry my hair, and brush my teeth. I spend another 45 minutes being fed breakfast and taking medicine while having my feet stretched for 20 minutes during that time. All of this takes about 4 to 4.5 hours on a good day when everyone knows what they are doing, arrives on time, and is appropriately scent free enough to help with my care. It can take up to 5.5 hours on days that everything is not in order.

I don’t usually go into nearly this much detail but I don’t know how to fully explain the thankfulness to God for the victory I have in Christ without doing so.

I know there are probably many people who do not understand why I would go through this every day just to live life. And in today’s world life is often taken lightly. There is this universal idea of a “euphoric state” that we go to no matter our religion and therefore life here on earth doesn’t matter. People are also often in pursuit of a struggle free and trial free life. But the Gospel tells us something much greater. The Gospel tells us that we have purpose and we have a reason for living while living on earth. And not only is there a reason for living – but God gives us the ability to face those trials and difficulties that we face each day to accomplish that purpose. So we are to be steadfast and immoveable in the Lord. He gives us the victory and when we are faithful, our labor is not in vain. I know that the struggles I face are not in vain. It’s not about me. It’s not about having a trial free and struggle free life. It’s all about Christ.

By the Lord’s work I mean, whatever is in his will for me to do with my life. Whether that is moving forward with actual “ministry items,” working on seminary, going to the doctor, or going to the office, I consider it all serving the Lord. But I cannot do what I do every day without the Lord’s provision and knowing that my “labor is not in vain.”

To answer many people questions in how I spend this much time every day getting ready and still find myself being able to do anything with my life there is only one answer.

That answer is found in Paul’s encouraging words in which he writes for us to “be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

We will all be rewarded one day for our labor which we can only accomplish through God’s grace and I hope this is an encouragement to you.

In case you are wondering about the sunglasses, Spring was making fun of my 1990 Ray Ban aviator sunglasses so it seemed appropriate to me to wear them with the vest. It seemed like a good combination.

Written by: Charles on February 13, 2014
Join the conversation:Add a comment
| Comment Shortcut

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

Winning the Prize

hopelessI found myself in a position that I thought the Lord was really moving things forward with our ministry back in October. I know that He was but the circumstances that have occurred since then leave me questioning everything at times. I am left with the question sometimes of how can I move forward?

Right after we got back from our Oklahoma trip where we had successful speaking events in that we really felt the Lord at work, we had an exhibit at the Tennessee Baptist Convention in Chattanooga. This required more travel and hotel stay that is really tiresome and exhausting for me. On the day we left to come home, I felt that I was getting a cold. In fact, I even said to Spring that I thought we should stop in Nashville at the hospital. This statement of course was half way tongue-in-cheek. The next day I woke up much more sick. A respiratory infection is very dangerous for me in my condition. After I woke up and had even made the decision to go to Vanderbilt, Spring and my caregivers kept getting horrible looking “stuff” out of my chest and throat using machines.

The story gets worse.

We wait for hours in the Vanderbilt emergency room for doctors to realize what is going on with me. I am admitted to the Medical ICU and my temperature keeps rising. The next thing I know, in the early morning hours, I wake up with my heart beating out of control, and physically and emotionally feeling ways I had never felt before. Then my body goes into shock. My blood pressure drops so low that I become terribly drowsy for the rest of the day and hardly know what is going on as the ICU team tries to turn everything in the other direction. Spring is so upset not knowing whether I will even live or not. Finally, they try something that works and my blood pressure starts going back up. When I become aware of everything again, I realize that I have to be weaned off the medicine they gave me to increase my blood pressure and slowly increase my regular heart medications over a time period of two-three months. I was completely taken off my regular heart medications. After I came home and as I am dealing with heart weakness and still very much respiratory distress from the cold virus, I develop serious sinus infection. I go to a local ENT to find that it could be a life-threatening fungal infection that could require major facial surgery involving permanent removal of the involved facial bones. He sent us straight to Vanderbilt for further evaluation and possible surgery. His last words as we left his office were, “keep the Faith.”  I thank the Lord that the Vanderbilt physicians were able to rule that out fairly quickly and without an invasive and risky biopsy in favor of a typical bacterial sinus infection that is familiar to everyone. However, it was a serious infection that required two weeks of IV antibiotics to recover. As I face weeks of recovery, life becomes very discouraging.

This starts the process. Not only had I been sick for six weeks, I am having to stay in our home for another six weeks and even to this day to keep from being exposed to the flu and more colds which would be life-threatening for me again. At this time, I am having terrible reactions to any type of scent on my caregivers, which is causing severe respiratory and even cardiac distress at times. We are having to face week after week of low staffing that is causing Spring to provide most of my care which is very tiring for her. My routines seem to be getting longer and more tiring each day.

All of these physical conditions and situations are affecting everything in my life and my ability to actually live life. I still have two incompletes from the classes I was taking last semester at Southwestern. I find that I am unable to start another class until summer. We are hardly able to get anything done with the ministry that God has called us to. On top of everything else, I have had very time consuming issues related to our business that I have had to attend to. Life just seems like too much. It is beginning to affect my relationships and how I react to things. I find myself questioning everything in life and even my closest relationships.

Having said all of this, how have I been able to continue with life through it all?

How can I find the perseverance to move on?

How can I find the ability not to give up on relationships?

How can I find the ability not to give up on God’s call on my life?

I have been able to live through all of this because of all the prayers and support of friends and family and most of all the support I have had from Spring.

How do I keep from giving up, from not thinking that I can continue with a life serving the Lord?

As I was reading in the devotional time that I try to take each day, I was reading through 1 Corinthians. I read in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 about Paul’s perseverance. I found so much encouragement in these verses that I know I must keep fighting and I know that the Lord still has purpose for my life that I must keep pursuing.

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Cor 9:24-27 ESV)

So I think about the discipline that I have to have to win the race – to continue with God’s purpose for my life. I really become convicted about not becoming disqualified after preaching to others. I become convicted to live the life that I tell others about. Through this set of verses I am given the courage to try to live more like Christ even in the hardships. Although I am constantly tempted to say things that I shouldn’t and to think things that I shouldn’t – things that could stop me from going forward with the life that God has called me to. I know I can’t do those things and still be worthy of the calling that God has given me. These verses give me the courage to live a life in a way to win the prize.

Each time I am tempted to live in defeat, to think a negative thought about someone, to say something I shouldn’t, to give up….

I know that God has greater plan for my life and I must continue on to win the prize.   

Written by: Charles on January 31, 2014
Join the conversation:1 Comment
| Show Comments(1)

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

To Go or Not to Go

CDC flu map 

Every day is filled with many “faith decisions.” Yesterday’s was the question of “to go or not to go.”

After being out of church for the past two months for mostly sickness (last week it was bad weather), we are anxious to get back. It has been pretty lonely at home and also pretty hard spiritually. But with the flu in full swing it left us with a difficult decision of whether to go or not to go.  Charles was in the hospital for just a “simple” cold virus that nearly took his life, and he has been told that his chances of surviving the flu if he ever got it would be about 50/50. So it’s a scary thing. And so we haven’t been anywhere, and the few times we have gone somewhere we have worn gloves and heavy duty anti-viral masks. Anyone coming in and out of our house has also worn gloves and masks. But we know that to live life you can’t live in a bubble and we also have to trust in God’s protection. But is the faith decision to stay home, be smart and stay away from all the flu going around or was God leading us to go ahead and go to church and trust in His protection. For those with cancer, longterm illness, chronic illnesses and etc this is a common question that we all face. And it might even be an every Sunday question. I do know that I am so thankful for the church and God’s provision for Christians in that way. Being away from the Body is difficult and something I once often took for granted.

For us…we were really close to packing up and heading out but we just didn’t feel that we needed to take the risk. So we stayed. We “attended” my brother’s church, FBC Arnett once again which has a live service for which we could pray, sing and listen to a great sermon on “Discouragement” so that we could worship from a distance. Though I believe that God spoke to both of our hearts through the broadcasted sermon, there still is nothing like being present in person.

After seeing Charles struggle through a cold virus, it is easy to choose fear when we face these uncertain circumstances and circumstances for which we can take precaution but ultimately have no control. Fear is easy – but it is faith – faith in The One who holds everything in His hands that I must choose. My current favorite song during this season and past few months is Laura Story’s “Keeper of the Stars.” Such an incredible reminder of the promises of God and the God who we are placing our faith in.

“Keeper of the Stars”

By Laura Story

“Keeper Of The Stars”

Against all hope in hope I believe,
That You Lord are faithful,
You’re good and You are able.
When it seems impossible to me,
Your promises are all true,
What You said I know You will do.

And I am sure
Your love endures

I’m giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars
I won’t be afraid
Cause You’re holding every part
Of this world
And my heart trusts You that
You won’t let me fall
I’m giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars

Against all hope in hope I believe,
Your plan for me is perfect
And You show me it’s all worth it.
With eyes of faith You teach me to see,
And lighten every dark night,
Knowing it will be alright.

And I am sure
That Your love endures, yeah

I’m giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars
I won’t be afraid
Cause You’re holding every part
Of this world
And my heart trusts You that
You won’t let me fall
I’m giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars
You’re the Keeper of the stars

Look up now, O my soul
See His greatness and behold, behold!
Look up now, O my soul
See His wonders and behold, behold!

I’m giving it all
I’m giving it all

I’m giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars
I won’t be afraid
Cause You’re holding every part
Of this world
And my heart trusts You that
You won’t let me fall
I’m giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars
You’re the Keeper of the stars
The Keeper of the stars

Written by: Spring on January 13, 2014
Join the conversation:Add a comment
| Comment Shortcut

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

I Can’t Imagine: Living through Crisis without Christ

imageI have cried many tears today and had many scary moments. There was nothing that could have truly helped prepare me to see my husband, my wonderful Charlie become critical and struggling through his every breath. But no matter how scary, I knew the Lord was with me and would never leave me. It was His strength that carried me through and still is as he is still very sick. And it is the prayers of so many others that are lifting us up to The Lord that has meant so much as I know He has and is answering our prayers.

As difficult as today was, I cannot imagine facing it without the hope of Christ and without Him to depend on. And as horrible as that would be, the reality is that there are people everywhere, every single day doing just that. They are facing each and every crisis all alone because they do not know Christ.

Because of this reality, I am even more compelled to continue pressing on and sharing Christ with those around us. As we traveled to the hospital yesterday Charles said that it is when we truly are able to wrap our minds around the reality of hell that we are compelled to share with others what hope and life in Christ is all about.
It’s also about wrapping out minds around the understanding that there are people facing their every day crisis with no one or nothing to depend on but themselves. So much of myself and my own selfishness gets in the way of not sharing with others. but I want to remember today, this story, and how The Lord brought me through. I want to love others enough with a Christlike love that I will share Christ with those around me no matter what.

Maybe as you have read this post you have never had Christ to depend on and you do feel that you are living through all of your own crisis on your own. The wonderful news is that you don’t have to. Christ wants to know you and have a relationship with you. He wants to carry your burdens for you. As Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” If you would like more information about having a relationship with Christ, please click here.

 

Written by: Spring on November 16, 2013
Join the conversation:Add a comment
| Comment Shortcut

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

Truly Thankful: Despite the Life He Faces – He Chooses Life

DSC_1112-2729949188-OA recent news article (found here) caught my eye as it told the tragic story of a newly married husband and soon to be father who fell while hunting, crushing his C3-C5 vertebrae. Within just hours of his injury, the doctors gave the family no hope of a recovery off of a ventilator that many call “life support” and wanted to know what they wanted to do. They decided to wake him up, and ask him personally what he wanted to do. He decided to die and they therefore cut the ventilator off and he passed away.

There was a huge response and wide range of emotional responses. One person commented that his “pregnant wife didn’t need the extra work of caring for him and a baby.” Another person commented that they believe “most people would have made the same decision.” Another commented that he made the right decision because he would have had, “absolutely no quality or dignity of life, dependent on life support.” And yet another, “living in the condition he was in is not living to me…I am ready to meet God when he is ready for me.” And others blamed God for “making” it happen.[1]

There are many issues that I could address but the reality is that though it made me sad that this family saw the situation as they did, I really am grateful that my husband didn’t make the same choice. My husband who also faces a life where he uses a ventilator (life support) to live, and basically has no use of his arms or legs and is totally dependent on others chose life and still chooses life daily over death. And he not only has life, but has an abundant life because of Christ.

What this man was facing was by no means an easy situation. Even Charles asked the question yesterday, “How would my response to my own situation differ if it happened overnight instead of a gradual decline?”  Though this situation is difficult, there is one thing that I am very thankful for.

I am thankful that my husband chose life.

I am also thankful for the one true God who can take a life that to others would deem “no life at all” and make it into something beautiful.

I am thankful for my husband’s courage. Through all the many many things he faces every single day just to live life, he willingly goes through it. Not for himself, but for Christ, and so that others may come to know Christ.

I am thankful that though Charles could have believed his life to be too much of a burden, he believed he had something to offer a spouse and therefore allowed me the GREAT privilege to be married to him.

I am thankful for the one true God who loves us, and uses us no matter our broken bodies – because the reality is we are all broken in some way.

I am thankful that because of Christ and our relationship with Him we know that there is so much more to life than what this world offers and considers a “full life.”

It is sad that life is taken so lightly.  I do believe that God is in control of all things and allows (not wills) bad things to happen, bad things happen because of a broken and sinful world. But God has given us a beautiful promise. That promise is that even though bad things happen and trials come (and they will come) that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). And I believe that Charles’ life is a beautiful example of that. A broken body but a beautiful story of what life is really all about and how amazing the one true God really is to be able to work things out in such an amazing way. It is a difficult life, but an abundant and joy-filled life he is able to live only because of the strength he has in Christ.



[1] All comments were made on the article found at http://www.aol.com/article/2013/11/06/tim-bowers-32-year-old-outdoorsman-chooses-to-end-li/20762381/.

Written by: Spring on November 7, 2013
Join the conversation:1 Comment
| Show Comments(1)

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

Waiting on the Lord

Sometimes we get tired of waiting.  We feel like we work and work to accomplish God’s purposes, to do what He has called us to do.  But nothing ever happens.  We never seem to bear any fruit.  Or at least that is what “we” think.  However, many times God is at work in us and preparing us in ways we don’t realize.  It has been like that for Spring and I for the past year.  We knew that God had called us to this ministry of sharing about the things He had done in our life to encourage others.  As the year went on, it just seemed like we were never going to be used.  We have learned that we had to trust God and wait on His timing. 

We have really been able to see God at work in our lives and ministry over the past few weeks.  We have been waiting for this time to come for a year now.  Although we are just now starting to “see” God at work in our ministry, He has been working all along.  It is just hard to see sometimes.  In His sovereignty He knows that we had to go through a period of preparation.  We have really seen our work begin to bear fruit in our recent trip to Fort Worth and northwest Oklahoma. 

mr. burkeI have had trouble knowing how God wanted me to articulate the testimony of what He had done in my life to others with our speaking engagements.  But through a long period of preparation, and help from my Union speech professor Mr. David Burke, I was able to get my message more clearly together.  Mr. Burke was such an encouragement and gave such Godly wisdom. He not only helped us shape our message but also helped us remember to keep the focus of our ministry always in the forefront – that focus being Christ.  God provided Mr. Burke at just the right time.

Over the past couple of weeks we have had the opportunity to share in three churches.  We could really see God beginning to work in these services as I was able to clearly communicate the message that God wanted us to share.  He not only used these services to reach others but to make it clear to us that He is going to use us. 

fbc dyerOur pastor at First Baptist Church in Dyer, Bro. DeWayne Goodgine, gave us an excellent opportunity to share both in sermon Sunday morning and in our testimony Sunday evening on October 20th to get us started.  I struggled a lot with developing the exact message that God wanted me to share at First Baptist, Dyer because these were people that had known me all my life and had heard my testimony more than once.  Who was I to share my testimony any more than anyone else?  Why was my story more important than anyone else’s?  Why was I even good enough to share my testimony?  These people already knew everything about me.  What could I share that they didn’t already know?  The answer to all these questions was simple.  It wasn’t about me anyway, it was about what God had done in my life.  He wants me to share what He has done in my life.  I just had to be transparent with the congregation and share my concerns and the answer the Lord had given me.  We are very thankful to First Baptist, Dyer for giving us this opportunity before our trip and speaking engagements the following Sunday in Oklahoma.  We are also very thankful for their prayers and support that made the trip possible.

IMG_0930On the following Sunday morning, we shared our testimony at Arnett First Baptist Church in Arnett, OK, where my brother-in-law, Paul Stohler, is pastor.  We really appreciate the opportunity he gave us to speak there and meet his congregation.  We also appreciate him and our sister-in-law, Michelle, allowing us to stay in their home for a few days to visit with them as we spoke in the area.  Their house is the perfect layout for everything we had to bring in.   The house has office space that we were able to setup a hospital bed and all of my medical equipment and supplies that worked perfect for us.  It’s amazing how the Lord had all this in mind and planned it so perfectly for us to stay there.  packing in OKEveryone at Arnett FBC had such Christ-like character.  The people there were so welcoming and kind.  As they shared with us after the service how much they were impacted, we knew that God had used our message.  One man even said after he had thought for a couple of days that he didn’t think he would have been able to live my life.  The answer in my mind was that he could live my life through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).  I am no different than him because it is only through Christ that I could live my life.    

pastor kennyWe are also very thankful for Paul introducing us to Bro. Kenny Platte, the pastor at First Baptist Church in Shattuck, OK, where we shared our testimony that evening.  After we spoke the first thing Bro. Kenny said to his congregation was “what’s your excuse?”  Several people also told me personally how much they were impacted by our story.  The people there were also very kind and welcoming.  We really appreciate everyone’s hospitality and support. 

We feel like the Lord wanted us to share about how He had fulfilled and is fulfilling His purposes in our life and encourage others to do the same.  I focused on Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  We talked about how if we choose to love God and follow His will for our lives that He will use both the good and bad circumstances of life for our good as God sees it to accomplish His purpose for us which is to become more like Christ.  It is our goal to encourage others with this as they face the trials of life.  But it is also our goal to share with others that we must be “called” or have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ for God to work out His purposes in our lives.  I finished each message with Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Click here to see a video of the service.

kids at arnettI spoke a shortened version of this same message with the 7th through 12th grade students from the public school in Arnett on Wednesday.  The students are dismissed from school everyday during lunch and are able to have lunch and listen to a short message every Wednesday from their own choice.  There were about 60 students there that day out of a town of 500 people.  We feel that God was able to use this time to speak to the students about how to find true purpose in life.  I shared about how God is able to fulfill His purpose in my life through my choosing to seek Him and how they can find that same purpose through seeking God’s will for their life.  Of course the prerequisite for this is that we have a personal relationship with Christ.  I shared the Gospel with them at the end and left it open to speak with me or Paul whenever they wanted to.

travelingOverall it was a really good trip and we feel like God was able to demonstrate His strength through what He has done in our lives.  We had left behind some pharmacy and medical supplies but had them shipped.  My care staff was very helpful.  We encountered the usual problems and hardship of traveling but God provided for our needs.  We traveled home on Thursday and Friday and were able to have a productive weekend and start to the week.  We thank everyone so much for all of their prayers and support that made this trip possible.

God has shown us through the past year and finally the past few weeks that if we wait on Him, He will use us to bear fruit for His Kingdom.  I encourage everyone who may think that the Lord will never use them and are tired of waiting, that He will use you when He knows the time is right.  Know that you will see the goodness of the Lord and wait on Him. 

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
 
Psalm 27:13-14, NASB

Written by: Charles on November 5, 2013
Join the conversation:1 Comment
| Show Comments(1)

Leave a Reply

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!