This is a testimony of God's saving grace sent to me via e-mail from a gentleman who has been attending PHBC since 2004 (he is currently out of the country working). The Lord has radically changed his heart and granted him 'repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.' A testimony such as this gives me reassurance God is still saving His elect through the simplicity of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray you would take the time to read and pray for this new brother in Christ. Prior to his baptism he will stand before the congregation at PHBC and read his testimony of God's saving grace.
Wow! A testimonial before GOD, the body of his Church and my Family! Where do I begin, because this has been a journey that has encompassed not just one incident but, many. Like mini strokes, but with tears of confusion, a softening of my heart, and finally a feeling of Love, acceptance and devotion for GOD, the Almighty!
I remember sitting across from Brother Chad one morning at 109 Restaurant about 2 years ago, explaining to him how (at that time) seeing was my way of believing, and because I couldn’t see God, how could I believe in him? Wow!, what a mistake, because if it were not for GOD, I might not have gotten up that morning, let alone be sitting across from my Pastor, making statements that (I am sure) promoted a prayer for my mislead, unbelieving behalf.
This was the beginning; Thank you GOD for introducing me to my beautiful wife, Christi, bless her heart, for she loves YOU and your Church and me enough to convince me to come and hear the Gospel, without fail. Yes, here in GOD’s Church, is where I began hearing the words of GOD, out of HIS BIBLE, seeing men Pray aloud, read Scripture, Sing, have Fellowship!
Then it started; I actually began reading books that Brother Chad offered me, I began reading the Scriptures in my Bible, started enjoying the fact that Wednesday nights were like a kick start for Sunday, and then my first mini stroke of GOD’S power!
I can’t remember exactly which Sunday it was, because I wasn’t quite sure, or wasn’t quite ready to accept this phenomenon, but for GOD’S sake, this was my first indication that HE was working me, testing me, waiting for me! It was a tightening of my throat, like holding back a cry, and then came the tears, running down my cheeks while sitting in the pew! I couldn’t quite figure it out, but after hiding it the best I knew how, and after a couple of deep swallows, I had a feeling I had been touched, by a power, that I could not see.
I went home after that Sunday’s fellowship meal, keeping to myself, trying to figure out what had happened and then it came to me. I had been touched, softened maybe, and it scared me a little.
I continued to read my Bible first thing in the mornings after awakening throughout the weeks to come, more Wednesdays and Sundays went by, more Gospel, (praise the LORD), Scripture reading, Singing, Fellowship; and then it happened again!
This time I was standing, singing and out of nowhere, I begin crying, tears flowing, but this time, I am feeling relieved, happy, wanting acceptance from HIM! Wow! Can this be true? A crusty old retired Seal, who has experienced wars, seen death, caused others lives to end, hard, a sinner, not deserving of this change, but there is was, this feeling from within my heart, to just accept the HEAVENLY FATHER, its okay!
I can’t believe that I kept that incident from Christi, but I just couldn’t tell her, not yet. I was still a gambling man, being patiently, on HIS terms, persuaded by GOD to change, but not quite there. Then reality struck (praise the LORD) and I realized that if I would just stop gambling with life, and accept JESUS CHRIST as my true father and believe that HE will Forgive me of my Sins, as long as I am honest to HIM about my sins that I have committed, and through HIS Graciousness, allow me to be one of his Saints forever!
Then it happened again! It was on the Sunday of VBS, when the youth were up front, singing and quoting Scriptures. I just broke down, my heart felt so softened, I wanted CHRIST in my life, I wanted to serve HIM, I had to sit down and take it all in. HE was SAVING me! HUMBLING me! ACCEPTING me!
I ask myself now, why did I not believe earlier in my life that there is a power huger than any war, any explosion, and any powerful storm? GOD MADE ALL! HE IS IN CONTROL!
If there is anything that I could say to those that are struggling, or feel bashful, or just might be almost there; let HIM in, HE wants you, HE loves you, all you have to do is believe in HIM and accept HIM, and changes will come; look around you at those who can attest to being Saved; join GOD’S Love and through HIS Grace, HE will take you in. I love GOD with all my heart, and want to become a member of this, his BODY and be BAPTIZED before HIM and HIS BODY, GOD WILLING as soon as I return!
I love you all, and will miss your fellowship while I am gone, Pray for me, Praise the LORD, in JESUS’ name, AMEN.