Archive for the ‘Testimonies’ Category

He sends them….

June 26, 2014

Over the years one of the most awesome things to see at our mall gathering on Tuesday nights is how people are drawn right to us.

Tonight was no different. I had been sitting there at the table and chairs as usual, just waiting. I was going over some notes from the last week out on the streets, when i looked up and saw a guy standing at one of the empty chairs next to me.

We both reached out to shake hands as if we already knew each other. We smiled at each other and i said, “Hey brother, sit down and tell me what God is doing in your life?” He smiled and sat down.

So for the next hour we both conversed about our journey with God. We both shared about our previous marriages and what we have gained through the process. I shared my testimony of disobedience to the call of God on my life. We talked about the consequences of making wrong decisions. He also shared about the music ministry the Lord has given him.

Halfway through our visit he tells me that earlier in the day, he had been praying that the Lord would send someone to encourage him and someone that he could visit with. (He was up from southern Oregon with his wife for a few days).

We finished with prayer. The Lord had just encouraged us both.
What a God! A God that wants us to experience him through people.

A Cannabis bus ride

November 22, 2013

Sittin in the back corner and here comes a guy with a “Cannabis” hat on and sits right next to me in the center seat. I asked him if he knew a guy that i know that gathers signatures for legalizing it. He said that he has seen him at the square.
That led into him sharing for the next 20 minutes about his Cannabis life. I listened to him talk about the upcoming legalization of it and how its going to be marketed etc.

I soon told him about my “pot smoking days” in my earlier years. We had common ground and this guy was really into it. He even pulled out of his backpack, a very detailed binder with all kinds of technical info., pics etc. He was a third generation expert in the care of, the study of, and the actual growing and selling also. Soon he even broke out his jar and showed me some of his finest.

I saw my stop coming up the road and was telling the Holy Spirit how i really needed his help in causing this guy to stop for a second so we could leave him with something.
He did.
I thanked him for sharing and gave my testimony of how i used to be all into that, but after about six years, i was born again and soon that desire was taken away and replaced with the power of the Holy Spirit. I told him that i can honestly say that experiencing God as you are living in the Spirit is no where even on the same planet as being temporarily high.

He had this look on his face as i smiled and shook his hand and handed him a “Born of the Spirit” card and said, “God bless you!”. And off the bus we went.

Hearts melted on the bus

November 15, 2013

Tonight on the way home, in walks a mentally challenged guy and takes a seat. He is sitting up front on one of the side seats. I am two seats back across the aisle. He looks at me and smiles. I look back and smile at him. A few minutes later, i hand him a “Jesus card”. He says, “what is it?” I share a little about the card with him. He says, “No thanks”. I say, “thats ok. God bless you”. He smiles.

Another few minutes go by. Then he takes center stage for the next 10 minutes. The rest of the bus is stone quiet listening. I’m sitting there beholding the words spoken as if they were pure gold.

He said that he had not yet been baptized, but that he loved God and that he was born again. He shared about his conversion as if a newborn child was able to talk about their new birth. It was sweeter than honey 

Then he said something that i believe was straight from the heart of God. He made mention of how he was the least of them, and that heaven was going to be filled with people like himself. Wow, i thought. Sounds like what Jesus taught. Then i shared what Jesus had said in the bible. He smiled and agreed. All the while, it was still quiet, not a word could be heard.

Once again, God showed how awesome he is in placing someone right at the perfect time in just the right place for all to see and hear. Straight from above.

My stop came. I got up and shook his hand and blessed him. As i was walking to the back door to leave, i looked around at the people. They appeared to be deep in thought. One lady smiled at me with a smile that was deeper than the ocean  She looked as if she was ready to cry an ocean.
HEARTS MELTED.

God taking the little things and blowing them up

October 1, 2013

She came from China 13 yrs ago.

I had just finished spending the day in the Northwest area and walked up onto the train platform when i noticed one older lady sitting on the bench waiting, and another younger gal standing close by. I said to the lady sitting down, “well, how much longer?”. She says to me “8 minute”. I smile and we spend the next minute talking about the train and when it should be coming. Her English is very slow and broken, but i can understand her.
After a few minutes, i reach into my pocket and pull out a “Jn.3:16” card and hand it to her. She looks at it and says that her English is not very good. I assured her that it sounded fine to me and that she was doing very good with it.
Now this is where God shows up:
She then reads out loud for me to hear and the other lady that would soon smile.
“For….God….so…..loved…….the……world…..that…..He….gave….his…..only…..begotten (she had to repeat that one three times) …..Son,…..that….whoever…..believes….in….Him….should….not….perish….but…

have….everlasting…..life.”
I kept watching the other lady as she read it out loud. She was touched for sure! And it was all God orchestrated. Here was this lady originally from China reading John 3:16 as slow and clear as it gets. What a God that takes the seemly little things and blows them up for His glory.
He blessed all three of us with the reading of His word about His love through His Son Jesus.
The train soon came and we all got on. Each one of us taking our place on the train. I smiled at both of them and said “God bless you!” He did for sure.

The onward progression of trusting Him

May 3, 2012

Trusting God to provide your needs is a choice we have to make. It is also a “new life” long process. Like anything else in this life with God, when you think you have arrived, look out. And, it doesn’t matter how long you have been trusting Him, it will always have new challenges, trials and testings. Of course, this is how we grow in trusting Him more, right? And, do we ever completely learn?

I have been blessed to have a guy who sells me a bus pass each month for half price. Our relationship has been going on for about six month’s now. This month however, I came up short for the money. I had been praying as the month drew close to the end and I knew that I would have to contact him again to set up a place and time to get it. I was believing on the last day of the month that the money would come. I even believed when I had went to bed that the money would arrive some way, some how.

The morning came, and no money. Now, what was I to do with this guy who I had been getting the pass from each month? I had always had the money before each time. Was I to tell him that I just don’t have the money this month? I couldn’t do that. After all, we have this good thing going and I didn’t want to jeopardize that. So, I prayed on and off through out the day. Finally, later in the afternoon, I shot him a text and explained to him that I still wanted the pass, but ran short this month and was waiting for the money. He understood and said that it would be no problem.

That night as I was heading to the mall for our weekly gathering, I was still expecting. Long story short, I had mentioned during the testimony time that I was trusting God this month for rent because I was a little short. And, that I was able to take in some change for bus fare to ride in that night. Also, I had forgotten that I had a couple of dollars in my savings account and transferred that to pay rent. So, I praised God for that.

When the meeting was all over, a brother opened up his wallet and pulled out a pass and handed it to me. At first I said, “what’s this? But this is your pass!” He said not to worry about him. Wow! I thought.  I thanked him and God.

So that night, I thought to myself, what about my pass guy? What now? What am I supposed to tell him now?

This morning after study, I thought that I would text him sometime during the day and tell him that I still wanted the pass and was still waiting for the money. However, if he had to sell it, go right ahead and that I understood. (I was figuring that I would get the pass either before the 10th or on the 10th when I got paid. I could always find someone who needed it). This way, I would not jeopardize my relationship with this guy, right?

So this afternoon, as I got off the bus and walked down the sidewalk, I looked at my phone and noticed that he had called me. I thought, “hmm. Well, I needed to rehearse my line to him before I call”, right? Without delay and thinking, I just called him. I just unloaded on him what had happened the night before. But, I also said that I would still get it from him when I had the money. He said, “are you sure? But you have a pass now, and could save yourself the money”. I said, “yeah, but I can probably find someone to give it to so don’t worry”.

He says, “Hey, don’t worry. I have someone who wants it this month anyways. We can hook up next month and continue on as before”. Wow, I thought, as it all flashed before my eyes. How God worked this whole thing out. Once again, what a God! I was so thankful as I walked up my stairs to my room. You would think, that after the countless times of provision it would be easy and not so thought-provoking, wouldn’t you?

Ah, the onward progression of trusting Him. It comes home new and fresh every time.

Afraid to witness and missing out on God

April 20, 2012

“Hey you were sitting way down there before”. “How is your day going?” “What’s God doing in your life?”

If we are not careful we will want our space and our time to relax. Certainly there is time and place for this, but when God places a person “close to us” (our neighbor) shouldn’t we take notice? And should we be listening as to what we might say or do? Also of course bearing in mind, “love thy neighbor”, right?

Today I was headed up to one of the many coffee shops in the city to take a break from “ministering”. The key word here is “take a break”, right? Well not exactly. But, one of the best breaks in a while. And it was truly awesome how it all turned out.

I had just sat down with my bagel and tea on one of the long tables that face looking out the window. After a few minutes, I noticed this lady sit way on the other end, about 6 chairs down. She was busy eating a snack and drinking her coffee. I figured that she was too far down there to say “boo”. So, I settled back and enjoyed my tea and bagel.

After about 20 minutes, she gets up to go to restroom and takes her food with her. I didn’t think anything of it. Soon she returned, and her seat was taken. She moved to the middle which was two seats away from me. I smiled and knotted my head. She smiled back.

Five minutes went by and I was prompted by the Spirit to say something. So, I said “hey weren’t you sitting way down there?” She assured me that yes that was the case. I then asked her how her day was going. She went into telling me a little of how it went. I said something about it to her, then she smiled and went back to enjoying her break.

A few minutes went by, then I was moved upon to say something to her about God. So, I did.

Now this is where I would like to chime in and try to offer some encouragement to those that might be afraid to share or “witness” (as it has been called) to a perfect stranger. First, we must remember that the main thing that keeps us from sharing is Fear. There is only one way to overcome fear, and that is Love. More love for God through loving people, overcomes all fear of people. As one practices this more and more, the love overcomes the fear. Also as a reminder, if you have been “born of water (regenerated) and “born of the Spirit” (baptized in the Holy Spirit) then you have all the “tools” to be a “witness”. This is where the ability/power comes from. Sure, you can take “witness” classes, read books on witnessing etc. but you already got the power, and believe me, that the source! I have been witnessing for over 30+yrs, and never have taken a “witness” course/class. I have looked at some books on the subject, but never ever really found anywhere close to the power of the Holy Spirit that can just take over. And, take over to a point where you will not even know what the next word is that you are going to say. And, if someone would ask you what did you say to them, you would be at a lost to fully described it. Why? Because that way, man doesn’t get any credit whatsoever. It wasn’t you, but the Holy Spirit working through you.

On the natural side of witnessing, it is also true that the more you practice it, the more you will get used to it. Will it ever be easy? I would like to think so. Possibly, for some people it comes more natural with “breaking the ice” so to speak with strangers. I wasn’t blessed with that natural gift.

So, back to the lady at the coffee shop. After our five-minute silence, I said to her, “so what has God been doing in your life?” She smiled and said, “Oh, a whole lot”. I said, “awesome, is Jesus you Lord and Savior?” She smiled and said a most definitely “yes!”. So, the next 30 minutes, we had one awesome visit. She shared some of her struggles being a single mother of two, and a former husband who doesn’t pay child support.

Soon she asked me what I did, so I told her. We spent a little time with that, but here is where the story gets really all about God and how he works and what He is up to and what He wants to do in and through people.

After I had shared with her where I worked part-time, she said “really? I just applied their last week!”. Just to let you the reader know, the place where she applied to work was about 25 miles south of where we were enjoying our God visit. She said that she really needed a job and went into sharing a little about her finances. I encouraged her that God is going to supply her with a job as she seeks Him and remains obedient. She agreed.

Before we parted, we had prayer and said our goodbyes.

ARE YOU READY FOR WHAT IS NEXT?

That afternoon she texted me and thanked me for our visit and the encouragement. I assured her that it’s all God. That night, I earnestly prayed for her and believed. The next morning I received a text from her saying “THEY CALLED ME AND I HAVE AN INTERVIEW TODAY!” I texted her back and said “What a God!” Then I went to prayer believing again.

That afternoon she texted me and it said “I GOT THE JOB!”. Just like that He provided. Now of course, God gets all the glory for every single bit of how He moved and provided. BUT……….

How does God work most of the time when people are involved? Who does He usually use? Do you know?

PEOPLE (period). The apex of His creation, He chooses to work through. It’s really a “no brainer” when you look into His word, right? I believe that some of the main reasons for Him working through people is, so that people will be encouraged to seek out people. To love on people. To pray for people. To love your neighbor as yourself. To want to see people provided for, and doing what we can with the abilities that He alone provides. The old adage “were all family” goes a long way. We must do what He lays on our hearts, and then watch Him provide in some of the most awesome ways, right?

People. Give us eyes to see them as you see them Father. Amen

Radical Meth addict has change of heart

April 19, 2012

I have known this guy for about six years. He has battled Meth and pornography ever since I have known him. He shared with me how the last time he was high (approx. 90 days ago) it sent him over the brink. It was the one high that scared him enough to want to start to change and to continue.

Of course, one of the major effects of Meth is “paranoia”. And, it gets worse and worse with each use. His last time using, he was on one of the commuter trains in the city and saw this guy who he taught was staring at him. Then his mind (through the demonic spirit of the drug) told him that this guy was after him and was out to kill him. This night, my friend had taken a knife with him. Now, he was contemplating slitting this guys throat. He was just seconds away from going up to some innocent man and doing him in. It was all played out in his mind.

THEN GOD STEPPED IN

The next stop, the train security boarded to do their usual ride along. This of course took on a major turn in his paranoia. The next stop, out he bolted and took the back alleys home. He basically went back to his apartment and stayed inside the rest of his time while still high. God had him locked up inside until he came down.

A couple of days later we heard of this story.

He shared how this had never happen before. Never was there such deception and fear. This time he was truly fearful. He had never thought it would get to this point. So close to something that would change his life forever. And, the guilt that he would have to live with the rest of his life.

This brother has always had a heart for God. He would come around when we were preaching, passing out tracts, or just talking to someone about Jesus. On many occasions, he would ask for tracts to pass out himself. Most of the time when he wasn’t high, he would be seen walking or sitting around downtown. Many have prayed for him for a very long time.

And now, I am blessed to say that he is 90 days clean. He is coming to our Tuesday night mall gatherings and we are seeing great advancement spiritually. God is doing an incredible work in this mans life. He has had enough. He truly wants change. His last time was enough to scare him into change. That is God’s love in real action! Loving him enough to allow this to happen, to allow it to get to this point to where he would change. What a God!

Just to share a testimony of how his heart has been changed since. Last week, he was walking down the sidewalk, he heard this girl screaming. He looked across the street and this guy was beating this girl to a pulp. So, he ran over there and jumped in to help. He got between the car door and the girl when the driver punched the gas and it knocked him over the door on to the road. Later, all bruised up and bloody, he saved the girl. The police, the paramedics showed up, and they went to the hospital. A bystander was able to get the licence plate number, and by now, hopefully they are locked up.

Here is a guy that once used prostitutes. Now he was saving their lives at the risk of his own. Now that’s heart change!

 

“I’m not afraid to die”

January 2, 2012

There is something very special and powerful about listening to a person share their testimony. It’s one thing to read it in a book, or hear one give testimony publicly on stage, but truly of a different kind when you meet someone for the first time and they share how God has change their life.

Such was my experience the other day, as the Spirit led me to the local courthouse. He was a thin man standing there with a cane. He was maybe 4o yrs old. When I approached him and said hello, I smiled and handed him a card. This card said, “The free gift of God’s love”. When he looked down at the card he smiled and said, “Oh I know what this is about”. I said, “really”. He said, “I am not afraid to die, I know where I’m going”.

Then he began to share, as I stood there listening to him. He said that he had received Christ as his Lord and Savior a year ago. Then he went into his testimony about how that a few months ago the doctors had told him that he had only two months to live. He shared how that because of his past drug usage he had acquired hepatitis C, and because of his past drinking habit, together, his liver was giving up.

As he shared, such hope came out of his mouth. He shared how that Christ was the center of all he lived for now. He knew that death was certain at anytime for him, and that he was ready to go at anytime also. Each day for him was another gift from God.

Even though we know the uncertainty of life is always present, somehow we think we are going to be here for a while, don’t we? We know that death is certain, that is easy to comprehend, but when given the “bill of death” from a doctor, that would be rather final to some extent, wouldn’t it? But yet this man lived each day as a gift, and all the time knowing that death had been pronounced upon him.

It’s the same with us. Death has been pronounced upon us also. We just don’t know when. While we haven’t received word from a doctor, like this man has, we are certain to die. And, not knowing when, we should also be ready just like this man.

An old song goes like this, “Would you flee from sin and serve the Lord? He will soon appear with His reward. It is not His will that you be lost. Would you save your soul at any cost? Do you know the end of time is near? Can you live and die in sin’s career? There is awful danger in delay. Will you cast your only hope away?”

“Be ready when He comes. Be ready when He comes. Be ready, Be ready, Be ready when He comes”

“Take heed,watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming- in evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-

lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.”

“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mk.13:33-37)

What God is doing on the streets

June 30, 2011

Street ministry, like all ministry, involves people. What is really awesome to see, is lives being changed whether it appears small or big. Also, to see change in a relatively short amount of time. Like on many occasions, today we got to see two people being changed.

Just last week, James and I were on a corner downtown hanging out as usual. This nineteen year old guy came up and started talking. He was playing the “know it all” and did very little listening at first. He confessed that he was raised in a Christian home, but was now trying to find God his own way. He talked a lot about how he disagreed with the way the world was and gave his reasons as to why. As time went on, the Spirit was moving and he was beginning to do a little more listening. When it was all said and done, he agreed to have prayer with us, and we all finished with shaking hands and smiling.

Today, exactly one week later to the day, he came by again. This time, he was different. He was a little more laid back. He listened more. I asked him how he was doing. He began to tell me that now he was going to church, and he had a lot more to say about Christ this time.

He had a tripod and a video camera, and asked if he could interview me with some questions. He said that he was going to make a video to show to people. His questions where very good. He asked if I believed in Hell and who all would go there. He asked that if I could go back and do some things over, would I. And if so, what would they be. He asked me do I believe that Jesus is the only way to God. He also had some more questions in which I answered the best that the Spirit gave me.

Then he began to share some deep spiritual things about the Devil and his fall. He shared about light and darkness. This had once again confirmed what the Lord had showed me a few years ago about the younger generation coming up. They would advance more quickly and receive deep revelation faster than those previously (see my post on “God’s Army”).

Here was a guy that in one week had scaled a mountain on the spiritual level. This is what God wants to do and is doing.

We encouraged each other and he said to remember him in prayer as he walked off looking for other people to interview. Bless the Lord for what He is doing!

The other guy is an addict that I have known for about three months now. The first time I met him was when I had been sharing at this corner a short distance east out of downtown. He had been strung out and was begging for money like most. He at that time, was very opposed to hearing the Gospel. However, I prayed for him and believed that I would see him again.

For a couple of weeks after, I would see him and he would smile and say hi. One time, the three of us were heading to the local mall for our weekly gathering and they noticed him, not knowing that I had met him before. One of the brother’s laid it pretty straight with him. I sensed that it was from the Lord, so I just stood back and prayed. So did our other brother James. (Ps. This is important if you go out with some other brothers or sisters and find yourselves talking to one person. Usually, if you gang up on one person, it won’t last very long, and they will have to leave. Seen it more than once).

We would see him a few more times before today. Each time, he was becoming more aware of God and not being so rejecting of Christ.

Today, he came around the corner where we were at. He appeared to be sober and had a lady friend with him for the first time that I had noticed. As he was passing, he turned back and leaned towards me and smiled and said, “OK, I will take one”. He for the first time took a tract. He had refused them before. This was a big step. When one reaches out of their own free-will and takes a tract, it is BIG in God’s economy. It is a blessing to see the Spirit move on one to reach out and take. The results are up to God.

So, we today, bless God for what He is doing. He is moving on hearts, trying to get them to turn. It is truly awesome to see him move and change people. He is in the “changing people business” for sure!

A direct shot of God’s love!

February 24, 2011

I was so thankful that I choose to not follow into routine today. I boarded a bus that I don’t usually take into town. When I started, it was just me and one other person on the bus. I sat in my usual back of the bus location. This was good routine as far as location goes. After a few stops, this guy gets on and sits in the very last seat in the corner. I was sitting next to him in the last row at the end. I struck up conversation with him about the weather. After a little while, I asked him if he was with Jesus.

Little did I know, that for the next 20 minutes he would share one of the most awesome testimonies that I have heard in a long time. This one really gripped my heart for sure.

He started with sharing how when he was little boy, his dad was very abusive to him and the family. So his life at a very early age was very abusive. This is very common, and I have heard lots of abusive stories about how people were raised. But this man, now probably in his forties, begins to share how God kept him through the years. His mother dies while he was around seven. His dad takes it out on him. He becomes more abusive towards him. His dad, like his mom, had health issues. This led to more confusion, frustration and anger. Finally, after a few more years, his dad passes away. There is no regret because he was never shown what a father was, let alone what love was. Hate and bitterness was all that he knew. This is what his life consisted of. So, he was relieved that his dad was taken out of his life. Little did he know what was lurking around the bend though…..

He immediately is placed in a foster home. Surprize! This turns out to be more abuse than what he had known before. His live before was just a primer for what he would now experience as “living hell”. Soon, his new parents beat him severally over and over again, as if there was nothing wrong with it. He told me that they would lock him up for a couple of days at a time with no food or water. He would have to go to the bathroom in the same corner like a dog. This would happen on numerous occasions. He was treated just like an animal.

So, at the age of fourteen, he packs his bag and takes off. Never to look back again.

Now, in my mind I am thinking how in the world would one such guy as this, ever come to God. All he has ever known was abuse, hate, bitterness etc. And it all came from humans. Would he ever listen to another human? Would he ever trust another human? Could a human ever tell him about God’s love? Could he even grasp what love was? He absolutely didn’t know what love was, or is.

One night, shortly after he left home and out on the streets, God in his love and faithfulness, came to him in a dream. Just like God, he alone knows how to reach people. He loved this guy so much, and knew that he was not going to respond to another human being. So it’s like God saying, “it’s OK, I am God, and I will do whatever is necessary to reach him”. So in his dream, he experiences God and his love. God knows that he needs love, and that he needs the real deal, His love sent directly from God.

So, in the morning, he wakes up crying profusely and gives his life to God. It’s just that simple and awesome. No human involved, because God knew what he had experienced with humans, no love. A direct shot of God’s love was necessary for him to find out what love was.

Now the brother is living for God and has no bitterness, no hatred towards people whatsoever. He gives God all the credit. He said that if it wasn’t for Him, he would have easily turned out to be one of the most vial people on the earth today.

Praise God for His power and faithfulness. What an awesome testimony of God’s love. Thank you God!

( Now I want to add this as a reminder to all those who might think that we are not in a spiritual battle for souls. And, that the demonic realm is not real. If you are filled with the Spirit of God, and you are walking/living in the Spirit, you will experience the demonic as you go out. Not to be afraid though, because greater is He, then he who is in the world (Satan). Now, if you’re not active in the kingdom of God, you will not experience any real demonic presents. A little yes, but not to the point where it is powerful and working through people. If all we do is talk about “God”, the demon’s don’t shutter. Why? Because they believe also. But, the minute we bring up Jesus, or the testimony of Jesus, look out! The Demons rise up!  Half way through this guys testimony, a guy gets on and sits across from us. He listens, then he begins to talk out loud. I immediately sence the demonic. He talks, He laughs. All the time he’s looking at us. I give him no attention, like he wants. I plead the blood quietly to myself, as to not stir him up. When it’s all over and we get off, I stand up and this man begins to talk louder as I walk passed him. I say out loud, “The blood of Jesus!, The blood of Jesus!” and we depart.)