A Short Testimony By Rick Warren (Inspirational Speaker And Author)

This testimony has blown me apart. May I live for Him alone not for the things of this world. Patiently read through….

RICK WARREN’S (BEST selling Author, Inspirational Speaker) Interview…..

Pls Read this:

This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren,
‘Purpose Driven Life’ author and
Pastor of Saddleback Church in California.

–In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren,

Rick said:
–People ask me, What is the purpose of life?

–And I respond:
In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

–One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me.*

–I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity.
This is the warm-up act –the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity..

–We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.

–Life is a series of problems:
Either you are in one now, OR you’re just coming out of one, OR you’re getting ready to go into another one.

–The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

–We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

–No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

–And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

–You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on *your problems:

–If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain. But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

–We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

–Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

–When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.

God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.

–That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

–Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
–Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
–Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
–Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
–Every moment, THANK GOD.

–If you do not pass it on, nothing will happen.

But it will just be nice to pass it on to friends…

Just like I have done now.

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When We Feel Abandoned By God, What Should We do? How Do We Reconnect?

God Left Me! Why Has He Forsaken Me?

When We Feel Abandoned By God

It’s been a while I got this kinda concern. When I started reading this concerned message I realised am also a victim to this. But in this case let’s read and try to contribute positively in supporting and helping this anonymous brother.

I grew up in the church and I know the Bible well. But now, I’m positive that God left me. Like Saul. I’m empty and it seems pointless to live. I’m basically a corpse walking around. I have no joy, peace, patience or kindness. No fruit of the Spirit. How can I have the fruit of the Spirit when God left me? I got sick about a month ago and started doubting everything. I was thinking sick thoughts–blasphemous thoughts. I tried to fight with scripture but the doubt and evil thoughts continued to expand. And now I know that the beautiful spirit of the Lord is gone. God left me; He has deserted me. I’ve prayed and prayed but I’m sure God left. God has given me over to a reprobate mind. Now nothing affects me. My heart is hard. I know that the Bible is God’s Word and that Jesus is God’s Son and that He gave He gave the Holy Spirit to dwell in those who believe. I know who God is even if He gave me over to a reprobate mind. I will continue to let people know that He is true even thought God left me.

Uncle Tim gave a very positive and encouraging advise.

The purpose of God’s testing is not to undermine us, but to purify and to move our assurance away from feelings which can be transitory to a solid faith that seeks to serve God even if it seems that He is destroying us (Job 13:14). Sometimes we think we are strong Christians when we do not realize on what weak legs we stand. Then the storms come, as Scripture says they will, and our worlds are turned upside down. God’s purpose through His training of us is to substitute for our weak legs some strong legs of faith, where we seek God and seek to live out His will even when our worlds seem to be collapsing around us. We are the house built on the rock.

So my encouragement to you is to lift up the feeble legs (Hebrews 12:12-13), stand strong in God, understand His purposes in your life, and hope in Him. When the testing is done, you will come through as pure gold, a treasure fit for His presence, and a blessing to all.

Another anonymous contributor advises

So here is what I do when difficult times come. First, I pray and ask God to reveal if there is some sin that has brought about the feeling of estrangement. If there is some sin that comes to mind, I confess it.

Second, having dealt with any know sin, I remind myself of His promises to me and assure myself that God is not a liar. In fact, I go farther and reaffirm to myself His great character and desire for us. Sometimes I read some of the great passages of Scripture on God’s character. I reaffirm that He has forgiven my sin and cleansed me, even as He promised and even though I do not “feel” clean. The feelings follow faith. I talk to myself about Him.

Third, I stop and worship Him for who He is. I submit myself before Him and tell Him how great He is. I see this with Job’s response, where in his sorrow he paused and worshipped (Job 1:20).

Fourth, I talk to myself about me, my purpose in this world, my calling to represent Him well, my choice not to focus on myself but to focus on Him. I reaffirm that serving Him is my choice no matter how I feel.

Finally, I seek to engage with His word and continue to pray, accounting that He is listening even when I have no feeling of engagement. (But I must admit, usually by the end of step 2, I find that I have reconnected. There is something about worship that touches God’s heart and transforms ours.) Yet, in the times when I still feel remote, I choose to draw near to Him and trust that in His time He will draw near to me. And He always does.

Other contribution to this …

Faith is trusting when we cannot see, banking that in the morning joy will return.

I encourage you not to be cast down, but to know that such times of struggle are part of God’s good gifts to His own, demonstrating His loving training so that our faith may stand strong and robust and be able to withstand any storm that strikes the rock on which our house is built.

I know this is difficult, especially in times you are not feeling well. But I encourage you to engage with others, and seek their prayers for mutual support during this time.

What advise do you have for this concerned brother, we will love you to share your thoughts and contributions too….

Have a blessed Sunday!!!

The More Difficult Life Is, The More We Appreciate God’s Forgiveness and Grace: Williams Story

I have been thinking about all that GOD has done for me. I have no words to adequately express the love and the appreciation I owe to GOD. To whom much is forgiven, much is required. GOD help me to honor You in all that I do.

No matter what we’ve been through in life, no matter what had happened in the past, no matter what we’ve done and think it’s in for given, we should always look up to God, because God is love. Here is Williams story….

Why I am a Christian

I was a child of rape,
Fatherless,
Unloved by a mother, not wanted, neglected, beaten, burned and abandoned,
Fostered and then adopted by those who did not cherish nor protect,
Molested, raped and shamed,
Told was a mistake, no good, would never amount to anything,
Cursed, kicked, slapped, whipped, beaten,
Learned by example that alcohol and drugs would numb the pain,
Runaway,
Bullied, beat up, drug overdose and left for dead,
Hospitalized, juvenile incarceration, defamation,
Hopeless, angry and alone,
Crimes led to prison,
Attempted rapes, countless fights, stabbed repeatedly, and in isolation hatred consumed,
Unwelcome, homeless and hungry,
Never begged, but ate out of dumpsters and occasionally worked for food or cash,
An object of another’s deviant sexual behavior, who were beaten and money taken,
Alcohol warmed on cold nights,
Lonely women in bars were nothing more than a bed to sleep in,
Uncaring, indifferent, selfish, self-loathsome,
Attempted suicide, and angry that even death evaded me,
Immersed in the bar-tend culture,
A stripper, an escort, drug dealer, a player,
Woke up high, went to bed drunk, every day for the next twenty years,
Mean, calloused, vile and vulgar defines the man I had become.

Then the unexpected happened!

GOD graciously revealed the truth of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross of Calvary to save a wretch like me. So real was GOD’s presence as tears of joy washed away a lifetime of anger and pain. Gone was the guilt of my sin against GOD. Knowing that by accepting Jesus as my Savior and LORD, GOD had declared me righteous.

Nothing in my past had power over me anymore. It was then that I realized why GOD chose me. I know hurt. I know pain. I know intimately the hopelessness felt by all people today. But most importantly, I know that GOD can save. What I did, I no longer do. I’m not without sin, but, the sins I used to love I now hate. When I am wrong I am quick to ask for forgiveness. And shockingly, GOD has birthed in me a sincere concern for the needs people have, and the urgency for their eternal salvation. I am becoming a very different person, and this is my testimony to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is never too late for God. If you know God has done so much for you in anyway and you feel to share your story. You can be anonymous or can reveal your identity, whichever way we will respect your decision.

If you want to share your story, send via mail:

motivatedfree@gmail.com.

Loneliness Is a Powerful Enemy: True Story From Anonymous

Loneliness affects us all at some point or another. Jeff’s testimony reminds us that God can fix even the deepest loneliness.

For years, decades, before I became a born again Christian, loneliness was my best friend. As the old saying goes, “with friends like this, you don’t need enemies.” Even when I was a sophomore in college, I had to admit that I was isolated from my fellow human beings. I took a course in adolescent psychology with Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock, who, in one lecture, described “the star isolate.”

This type of personality might be someone who is popular, who excels, who has friends, and is generally gregarious; yet, he or she at a deep psychological level is isolated from other human beings. A similar problem was noted in Sylvia Plath’s book The Bell Jar. Sylvia was herself a poet who experienced a sense of isolation and intense torments of loneliness even though she was married. Eventually, she committed suicide.
And sometimes this loneliness is described as fear of intimacy or closeness with others. However, it is worth noting that loneliness is not necessarily a condition experienced by “loners” only, but can be experienced by anyone. In fact, one of the classic books in sociology, The Lonely Crowd, written by Leonard Riesman, Nathan Glazer, and Reuel Denny in the 1960’s described the remarkable loneliness found within the American social order despite a superficial gregariousness and friendliness in the population. For Glazer, Riesman, and Denny, this was associated with the “other-directed” personality, people who were trying to please others, to somehow fit in with the expectations of others, but who lacked a solid core of inner motivation and purpose. Another personality type addressed in The Lonely Crowd is called anomie. The person with anomie actually has a deficient self concept, neither able to achieve purposeful behavior from within, nor to pick up sufficient cues from others to become “other-directed.” Rather, they lack not only character, but lack identity. It is defined by the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also: personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals.”

If one grows up as an only child as I did, that in itself is not the basis of one’s loneliness.

All only children do not find themselves as experiencing extreme loneliness. As we see above, loneliness is not mainly defined by behavior, but by inward conditions based on one’s values, identity, purposes, norms of behavior, ideas about who other people are, what they expect of one, the extent of competitiveness in one’s personality, the sensitivity of as well as the capacity for empathy of the individual, and the degree to which one’s personality is self-absorbed.

Further, as I learned from the pain of bitter experience, the books on sociology and psychology consistently omit one’s relationship with Almighty God when depicting the sources of one’s loneliness and alienation. Thus, the spiritual dimension of experience, which is the linchpin of all other variables is neglected.
When I had the privilege of teaching Expository Writing at Pennsylvania State University, the course was developed around the concept of alienation. All our studies in reading essays, poetry, and short stories as well as the writing assignments were built around alienation of self from self, alienation of man from woman, alienation of humankind from nature, and alienation of self from God. Despite my lack of faith in Christ, I had been influenced to some small degree by the writings of Soren Kirkegaard, and saw that my own experienced belief in God was accompanied by an even stronger alienation from God, and I was interested in examining that sense of alienation. In fact, looking back on my mindset at that time, it is clear to me that my greater interest in my alienation than in seeking God was itself indicative of my fallen and sinful condition. In today’s theology, we could say that that other alienations between self and self, between self and others, and between self and nature were horizontal alienations. And alienation from God is a vertical alienation.

I had friends. I went to parties. I was elected to various leadership positions as an undergraduate student. I was hired into various prestigious teaching positions as a graduate student. I went out on dates. Some girls liked me, but one described me as “conceited,” another said that I always had to be right and was too argumentative, and there were others whom I wished to impress but who were never impressed by me. I helped one young woman to find a doctor so she could get an abortion in Washington DC. My mother had not described me as good looking, but would always say that I was “interesting looking.” I took that to be a euphemism meaning I was not good looking. This was augmented by my hair beginning to come out little by little beginning in my twenties. Would I be able to marry before I lost “the bloom of youth?”
I had told my father about my fear of not being able to find a wife, and about losing my hair. He chuckled in a friendly way and told me not to worry as he would help me find someone. I didn’t know what he meant by that, but felt that somehow, some way, he would come through for me. Nonetheless, although I looked like a scholarly and decent young man, I continued to have an inordinate and adolescent concern about whether or not my appearance was acceptable and attractive. However, my father died when I was twenty-one, and I felt I no longer had someone to support me with my wife-search problem.

Fast forward now through almost two decades of heavy drinking, failed relationships, setbacks in my academic career aspirations, more than ten years of writing and editing employment in marketing and consulting publications in commercial banking and export/import , various temporary college and high school teaching positions, writing of hundreds of poems, short stories, and essays, odd jobs including school bus driver, security guard, retail small appliance clerk, teacher of physically handicapped and delinquent teens, attendant to the developmentally disabled, lathe operator, livery car driver, high school English and social studies teacher, and global wanderer (I took a job teaching in an international school in Teheran, Iran where I contracted amoebic dysentery among other horrible experiences).

Thus, I had gone from the heights of Ivy League education and contacts with some of the country’s highest political figures and executives to some of the grittiest jobs on the planet. I had had lunch with and attended meetings with the likes of Sen. Gary Hart and Sen. Alphonse D’Amato and with various dignitaries of U.S. Customs, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, and leaders of business in exports, imports, and banking. Yet, during my years of wandering, I was assigned to guard the Harvard Club in New York City, but didn’t tell anyone that I held a degree from that institution. Another time, I was guarding a store in Midtown Manhattan, and in walked my former boss, a VP from the large commercial bank that was my former employer – she was a graduate of Princeton – and there I was guarding the merchandise. We exchanged embarrassed hellos.

During that time of wandering, I was a security guard at a construction site. I occupied a portable toilet that had been converted into a guard shack with a small space heater, and I sat in there during the dark night hours with sub-freezing temperatures outside. On one of my shifts, local ten year old boys climbed the scaffolding at the site and began pelting me with rocks, as I hid in my “shack” while the stones came raining down.

My uprooted wandering meant I had fewer and fewer stable relationships. I would move from place to place, getting along with people; yet close to no one. The loneliness I had known when I was an undergraduate “star isolate” grew deeper and more intractable. Living in the midst of the most populated city in the USA, I became increasingly lonely. Who was I? Why was I on this planet? What hope was there for me?
In an attempt to connect, I went to a meeting held by an old woman in a Catholic Church. She represented a teacher in New Mexico known only as The Professor. She seemed lonely too, as lonely and an outsider as much as I, but she had stability in the philosophy of The Professor, a strange blend of yoga meditation and exercises, Roman Catholic doctrine and practice, and a written collection of “The Teachings of The Professor.” The Professor, an individual whose name I learned was Cyril F. Kilb, lived in New Mexico and was in charge of an entity called The Motivational Research Institute. I became more and more involved with The Program.

At first, there were only two of us who were regular attendees at the meetings in the church, but eventually the other lady dropped out, and CVD continued to meet with me alone for a number of years. At first I felt some relief from the loneliness I had been experiencing. In CVD I had made a connection. She was someone I could talk with about what was happening in my life everyday. We would meditate at each meeting, and that made me feel so-so “spiritual.”

In fact, I was so grateful that I began making larger and larger weekly contributions to The Program. I took a second job so I could give more money to The Professor (she would turn the money over to him), and also to keep busy, with the assumption being that keeping busy would help take my mind off myself and thus, to some degree, ameliorate my loneliness. It worked up to a point: someone to talk to, keeping busy, having someone to have dinner with, being accountable to another, and activities at the local Catholic churches like attending masses, saying the rosary, praying through the stations of the cross, and feeding the homeless all gave me a sense of connection and purpose. CVD had become my closest friend as well as my teacher and my spiritual [sic] director. I remained in that relationship for more than ten years. She was the only person I spoke to at any length except for a few brief polite conversations with my neighbors.

When I broke free of The Program, I found myself alone again. After ten years, I had no one to talk with. Someone I knew said she saw me talking to myself in the street. She said I looked deeply disturbed. I had experienced a life of desperate loneliness from my teens until I encountered The Program. In The Program, I felt exploited, but I still, for the first time as an adult, had someone with whom I could talk and confide on a regular basis. Then, after leaving, I was more lonely than ever – more than in my days of being a star isolate, more than when I was oppressed by the competitive demands of graduate school, lack of intimacy, and lack of love in my life. More than in my days of wandering.
Wait….! Did I not just mention “love” in a previous sentence? Finally, in The Program I had made a connection. I had stabilized. I had stopped wandering. I had someone to talk to. I had someone to discuss my problems, successes, and personal failings with. Yet, it was an exploitive relationship. Was there love? When I stopped participating, when it was over, I was talking to myself. I was experiencing loneliness even more intensely than in my days of wandering, than in my student days, than at any point in my life. Now I was plunged into even deeper despair. I no longer had a loneliness based on being other-directed or from the psychic dysfunction of anomie.

I really knew the agonies of Hamlet’s deep query, “To be or not to be, that is the question….” I understood MacBeth’s agony which I had recited in high school when he says, “Life is a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing….” I experienced the loneliness that comes from a sense of utter meaninglessness, utter absurdity, and utter hopelessness. My soul was bound by pains of experiencing the profoundest sense of rejection, dislocation, isolation, and above all, lovelessness. These terms defined my loneliness. My very being was experienced as a dirty, used mop that had been cast into the waste bin of time and space.

Yet, I had considered myself a “seeker” throughout my 20 years of wandering. I was looking for truth, for God, for ultimate meaning, for a point of perfection, even for absolute perfection. As early as 1975, I had an argument with a couple of folks in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania about the relativism of the many competing philosophies, beliefs, opinions, points of view, etc. that I observed. Everybody certainly had a right to his or her opinion, but all I saw were all those competing “right views” emanating from millions of egos. How could it not be that some might be more right than others? And if another point of view was more “right,” then there would have to be a standard for assessing that rightness? Or, perhaps the truth lay in a point of view that wasn’t expressed by anyone? These were some of the questions that assailed me. Wasn’t there a more credible approach to living and to thought than the one I observed? The Program had seemed to be the answer; yet my outrage at turning over so much money to The Professor, and the cul de sac it seemed to be when I left in a state of terror, dislocation, and despair showed me that what I had thought was true and absolute was bogus and illusory.

I kept writing, kept seeking, kept reading books, kept teaching, kept talking, kept searching for love. Only later would I understand that actually I was not seeking at all, but running away from “the Hound of Heaven,” who was calling me to His kingdom and His love, truth, and eternal life.

Then, during one lonely Christmas season in 1987, I was busy cheering myself up singing Christmas carols in my furnished room in Midwood, Brooklyn. As I was singing and rejoicing in Christ’s birth, comforted by the singular peace of “Silent Night,” gentle but powerful words invaded my stressed out brain, “You must be born again….” I had seen many televangelists, and listened to them on the radio. At the suggestion of one radio preacher, I had laid my hand on the radio and prayed that I would forgive a previous boss for having fired me. (I was still under the illusion that religion was a form of magic, and that it includes different magical rituals.) I really had no understanding of salvation by grace through faith. It was just say the “right words” [sic], practice the “right rituals” [sic], and do the “right deeds” [sic] in the name of Christ, and then, well, then you were going to escape hell, and could walk with dignity and hope on this earth. However, I was soon to learn what Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Puritan fathers, Jonathan Edwards, and millions of others found in the testimony of their walk with Christ.

“You must be born again….” I heard these words, and balked. They came as thoughts, but I sensed deeply they were thoughts from God. “But I am born again, aren’t I?” I protested. . Again, the words penetrated to the deepest center of my being, “You must be born again…there’s a church for you on Flatbush Avenue.”

The next day, I walked the four blocks up to Flatbush & Foster Avenues. Looking left and then right, my gaze fastened upon a large cross hanging in front of a storefront church. It was a classic sign. The words on the cross read, “JESUS SAVES.” I approached the front of the church, and there was a telephone number to call. Later that day, I called, and a woman with a heavy Jamaican accent answered the phone. I asked when the next service was, and she said that in two days there would be a children’s play – not a real service mind you – but a family night when Christ’s birth would be celebrated.

Two nights later, I arrived and the lights were dim as the play had already begun. As I sat down, one of the old women of the church nodded hello to me, and patted my arm. “Jesus is love,” she said, repeating the words two or three times to me as the play proceeded. Her name was Sister Duncan, and her words were so reassuring, so kind, and so comforting. After the play, the congregation sang a few praise songs and hymns, and, at the pastor’s suggestion, the evangelist who was leading the singing had an altar call. Because I was partially obscured by a pillar, neither the pastor nor the song leader even knew I was in the room.

When the call was made, I left my seat behind the pillar and walked down the aisle to the pulpit. I had gone there hoping to be born again, hoping that there would be an altar call as I had seen many on TV, and it seemed that the desires of my heart were answered. At that point in time, I did not know that I was being led by the Holy Spirit. I did not understand that I was being led by Christ himself to a new life in Him, but I was still filled with expectancy and excitement at the prospect, however vaguely defined, of being born again. My deep longing for a deeper walk with Him was being answered by the God of all creation. Had he not put that longing in my heart? Had he not pointed the way during my long, lonely, labyrinthine walk out of my atheism and overly-intellectual approach to life (my pride and false sense of self-sufficiency)? On that night, I was led to take a great turn in the road of life, and to begin to walk 24/7 with my Lord and Savior.

Then, following my answer to the call, I learned that the church was having a baptismal service in two weeks. Normally, they have instruction sessions for those who would be baptized, but recalling Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch, the pastor agreed with Philip’s rhetorical reply, namely “what shall hinder you?” and admitted me to be baptized in two weeks.
Since that wonderful time 25 years ago, I have never looked back, never regretted nor questioned for one second becoming a Christian. After two years in the church, many of the old Jamaican ladies who had grown up in the church, and saw me almost six days a week (I was always in church or visiting other churches) assured me that I was truly born again, and I found a rest, hope, peace, love, and joy that I had never experienced in my entire life. Yet, I still had a lot of growing and maturing to do, and believe that I am still growing in Christ as he sanctifies my life, and leads me on the path of being made “conformable to Jesus Christ” as he readies me for my heavenly home.
So many times I have acted in many strikingly un-Christlike ways; yet, He never failed to show me His mercy and forgiveness as I have struggled to conform myself to the Word of God. He has given me wisdom where I have been ignorant and inept. He has shown me how to be more kind and compassionate when I felt disgust, and wanted to walk away from problems or people. He has given me more patience and peace when I wanted to blow my top.

He has replaced my lonely book-centered life, with family love and a Christ-centered life. He replaced my discouragement with teaching, and restored me to my career as a teacher even when I was past 50 years old. Now he has given me a healthier body to help me better enjoy my old age, and to better serve him. He has opened my mind to be able to understand theology, which I had been unable to fathom or penetrate until about eight years ago. My search for truth, begun decades ago in the Ivy League, through many trials, temptations, and snares, through sidetracks of all kinds – high status sidetracks, dangerous sidetracks and sidetracks into extreme poverty – and through the wrongheaded attempt to blend Eastern philosophy and practice with the Truth of the Christ, I came to know He Who Is The Creator of the Universe, and Who Saves Through the Power of His Life, Death, and Resurrection.

True Story: The Life-Changing Power of Jesus Christ (Tammy’s Story)

My name is: regret, shame, pain, dirty, angry, failure, hated, forgotten. My life is full of valleys, with no mountain in sight. I haven’t seen good in so long I’m not sure it still exists. My story starts out like anybody else. For six years of my life I was the typical kid. Then life got in the way and things started changing.

When I was six I watched my great grandmother take her last breath. Four short months later, at age seven, my dad died. He died from complications from attempted suicide. I was never a “normal” kid after that. I sat alone on the floor during P.E. at school watching the other kids play begging God to just tell them I loved them.
That in itself is way too much for a seven-year old to handle all by herself. I started getting really depressed. I even went as far as attempting suicide. My heart was broken and nobody could or would help me. As time went on I came out of my depression and could see hope again. Then on January 27, 2009 my world crashed. My great aunt died. I was lost and empty. Eleven short months later tragedy struck again. My papaw died. I felt an anger start in my heart that would not soon be quenched.

On June 16, 2012 my faith was put to the test harder than before. My other papaw lost his battle with cancer. I started spiraling. I was depressed, angry, and confused. I wondered why God who is supposed to love me so much kept ruining my life. I started drinking and smoking pot daily. Curling up to a bottle was the only thing getting me through the day. I started giving myself away in pieces and slowly at first, then all at once, until I had nothing left. I looked in the mirror and saw a stranger — a tired, broken stranger. I was a mess. I was only 14 but I felt like I had lived a thousand years.
On October 20, 2013 I knew I couldn’t continue down the road I was on, so I turned to Jesus. I became a new person that day. Jesus saved me from myself. He became my life. I could finally stop fighting. After 10 years of death and pain I was exhausted. I could smile and laugh. My brokenness healed. I had hope for the future. Tragedy still came. August 17, 2014 my world came to a stop once again. My uncle who was my best friend, died. Losing him was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. It didn’t make sense; he was only 46. How could someone that I loved so much and had seen every single day really be gone? Five days later another uncle passed away. I couldn’t take it. My heart was so broken and I was so emotionally exhausted. I felt like running away and never stopping.

This time was different though. I was done running. I asked Jesus to carry me through it and he did. He still is. Because of him I have a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I have valleys, but I also have mountains. I have hope; I see the good in the bad. I am transformed. My name is: joy, peace, over-comer, remembered, redeemed, restored, loved, forgiven.

True Story: Saved From Drugs, Violence, Prison, Freedom

Testimony

Richard’s testimony is an inspiration. He decided not to be anonymous because he wants his story out there to be told. He believes his story can change someone out there with the same problem he faced before meeting Jesus. Please it might be long but will appreciate if you patient to read it through….

The following text is a personal testimony of how God has brought inner healing from emotional wounds that were inflicted on me as a child, and set me free from a fear of violence and a deeply entrenched behavior pattern that had caused me to hurt others growing up. My hope and prayer is that if anyone reading this is able to identify with any of it, they will come to understand the deep healing and freedom that can be found through repentance and faith in Our Lord.

My story begins with describing myself as an intelligent child who was happy, confident and secure in my home life. This all changed however when my father suddenly left home around the same time I began to experience bullying by a boy who I used to play football with. The boy was a friend at the time, but took it upon himself to beat me and humiliate me at every given opportunity after wrongly blaming me for losing a football game. The bullying I experienced only stopped after I snapped one day and knocked him down, along with his friend who was with him at the time. Both boys had been trying to humiliate me by hitting me in front of others, but something inside just said enough is enough, and I remember a feeling of intense relief because I finally stood up to him. In retrospect I can now see how this was the beginning of a pattern of behavior that was to stay with me well into my adulthood, as I had learnt that people could not hurt me if I hurt them first.

The bullying by this particular boy did not go on for too long, but it was enough to destroy my confidence and teach me that I needed to toughen up to protect myself from being hurt again by others. Subsequently I began to try and create a tough man image that couldn’t have been further from the truth of what I felt inside. In terms of what this looked like for me, as a child I would fight with other kids in the area and would bully and intimidate others. I also became rebellious at home and school, and eventually fell in with older guys who introduced me to drugs and a criminal lifestyle, which caused me to leave school early and enter a very dark period in my life.

Throughout adolescence and early adulthood, I always knew deep down inside I was not really the person I was trying to portray to others. As much as I wanted to try and convince others that I was tough, I knew that there was always someone tougher just waiting around the corner. Inevitably I ended up in a young offender’s institute and I can clearly remember the day I was led away from court in handcuffs and was taken away to spend my first Christmas behind bars. My first sentence was only a few weeks at that point, but whilst incarcerated I was bullied once more by an older guy who took a dislike to me. Despite trying to convince myself I was a somebody, I didn’t really know how to look after myself in an institution, but I quickly learnt that the only way to get by was to make sure that I was able to convince others that I was no pushover. The next time I was sent away for violent disorder, I made sure that I got in with the right crowd and would target certain people to try and establish my reputation even though the fear of violence actually terrified me. This meant that on occasions I would assault someone for no other reason than to try and prove myself. The reality was that I took no pleasure from violence and I always felt sadness for each person I hurt. I knew it was wrong and I wanted to change, but the further I travelled down that road, the harder it became to turn around.

At 21 years old, I was sent away on remand for the first time to a tougher higher prison. I remember walking down some steps and reading a sign that said welcome to Hell. It was made even more chilling by the fact that the prison I had been sent to had been used in a film many years before, and so I actually recognized parts of the building. To make matters worse I was withdrawing from a high amount of opiates and was forced to share a cell with someone who was also coming off drugs. All we had was a small sink and a bucket to use as a toilet and that was one of the lowest moments of my life. We were locked up for 23 hours a day and each morning the door would open for slop out and I would try and get myself together and stick my chest out as I walked down the landing as if I couldn’t care less. The moment I was back in my cell I would sit there in tears wondering how I was ever going to turn my life around.

The fact was that no matter how many times I tried I would always go back to drugs just as a pig goes back to wallow in the mud. I hated life and I hated myself. Other than the drugs I also had been secretly cutting my flesh for years as a way of punishing myself, but also as a way of releasing the anger and pain I felt inside. I would even punch myself at times and hurt myself in other ways, but the more I did this the more confused and fearful I became. I really believed I was becoming insane, because I did not think that anybody else would ever deliberately self-harm. I constantly lived in fear of being found out, but without any obvious way of changing things. I would numb myself with drugs, sex and anything else that would provide temporary relief from the confusion, fear and sadness I felt inside.
Over a number of years, I abused my body to the extreme and it is testimony to God that I am even alive today after having several near-death experiences. Indeed, several times I would experience situations where only the presence of God could account for my being here today to write this, but I will write about them at some point in the future.

After many years of personal suffering and causing suffering to others, I entered treatment in 2007 to clean myself off the drugs. I knew that to continue on the same path would either lead to death or a life sentence in prison, but deep down I had no real hope that things would change. I had tried to get clean many times before, but always seemed to go back to drugs because I could not deal with the intense emotional pain brought by the shame and guilt that the drugs had been masking. After detoxing from the drugs in treatment, I was left feeling vulnerable and naked before others. I really didn’t know how to deal with this and so I spent months trying to push people away by pretending that I felt better than I actually did. I also suspected that I was going to use again when I left treatment, as I could not stand the reality of having to deal with life without drugs. The truth was I was terrified of life and often contemplated suicide, but instead of being honest and sharing this, I would use anger or lies to keep people at a distance and away from discovering how I really felt inside.
It was whilst I was in treatment that a friend took me to church one evening after I reluctantly agreed to go simply to get out for a night. I had previously believed in God as a child, but somewhere along the line my idea of God turned into imagining some ferocious being that punished me every time I made a mistake. I also had church forced on me as a child and all I saw was hypocrites who judged everybody else, but did the very things they judged others for. I therefore went to church that night with no expectations and spent the first part of the service staring at the women in the hope that I may find a nice girlfriend. At some point however, I heard the preacher talking about addiction. He spoke about a God-shaped hole inside each of us and invited the congregation to step forward and accept Jesus. I could really relate to much of what he was saying, but I remember an intense fear of going forward, as I thought that people would be watching me and I could not stand the thought of people thinking that I was a broken man. Even so I eventually fell to my knees and asked the Lord to rescue me from the personal hell that I was living in before quietly leaving the church and travelling back to the rehab.
That night I could think of nothing else other than what had happened at church. I waited till everyone was in bed before closing my eyes and began to pray. I got down on my knees again and repented of the things I had done in life. Despite going to church as a child and going through the motions of repentance, I was suddenly aware of God listening to my cries and I felt genuinely sorry, because I had hurt so many people in my life up to that point. I can see now how unlike my previous prayers of repentance, I meant it wholeheartedly this time and I remember what felt like a cool breeze come over me. I thought that the wind had come into the room, and so I checked all the doors and windows, but they were closed and the heating was on. I now believe this to be the Holy Spirit.
I went to bed that night with a peace that I had never experienced in my life and so began a journey that would ultimately help me clean myself of the drugs, but would actually involve swapping drugs for religious practice, and going to the other extreme of becoming a Christian doormat afraid of conflict and trying hard to be liked by those I placed on pedestals. Of course, I had no idea that this was the case, but in his grace the Lord was good to me and eventually allowed me to understand how I had only partially surrendered my life to the Jesus that I had heard many stories about, but did not really know personally. In terms of the testimony I am sharing now, it is only in the freedom I have found in surrendering to the Lord, that I can now share freely why I acted like some kind of gangsta, when the reality was I was simply a frightened, confused and broken man who had grown up physically, but still felt like a small child inside.

I give all the glory to God for the changes that have happened over time. I have made many mistakes along the way, but I have for the most part been willing to allow the Holy Spirit to convict me of the behavior patterns that have subconsciously controlled me even after becoming a Christian. It is only in the confidence I have in God that I can now share this in the hope it may bring encouragement to others. Furthermore, I can do this without fear of what people may think of me, as my reputation amongst men is no longer as important to me as my relationship with God.

This journey has been long and painful and has involved going through periods where I would just cry for no obvious reason. At times, I wondered if I might be having a breakdown, as I could be simply driving the car and a song on the radio would trigger the tears. I could also be watching TV with the children and I would cry at some cartoon character for no apparent reason. To anyone observing I must have looked like a real wimp at times. I have come to understand however that it’s all part of the healing process and that I do not need to stop myself from experiencing my emotions.

I grew up believing that crying was a sign of weakness in men, but I realize now that could not have been further from the truth.
In finishing this testimony I want to add that I have reached a point in my life where I am no longer afraid of violence or those who would seek to intimidate, because I am one with Him who bore our sins, was murdered, but rose again so that we may find life.

May these words be a blessing to you. Please feel free to share this testimony if you think you may know anyone who might need to hear this.

May all the glory and praise go to HIM…

Testimony: Frank Had an Amazing Experience When He Was on His Knees in Prayer One Night

This happened in my life back in 1978. I had only been a Christian for a short amount of time and was still in doubt of things all the time and not really sure of my new-found faith.

At any rate I’d been having a personal issue in my life with a woman I really loved and thought I was on the verge of losing her. It was night and I was ready to go to bed. So I was on my knees in prayer as I prayed a few times a day. This night’s prayer became very intense for me due to my situation with my girlfriend. And I really don’t recall exactly what transpired except the next thing I heard a voice next to me asking me to let it go and trust Him with it . . . I turned to the direction of the voice as it was so very real and there before me stood my Lord Jesus! It was a moment that I’ll never forget and I do remember being taken by stunned surprise for a moment. No bright lights–just a soft warm glow and the feeling of not having a care in the world and in that instant I knew that I had nothing to worry about! As quickly as He appeared, He was gone.

Though I remember for days the feelings I had inside of me and a few people mentioned that I had a glow and new smile about me as they put it!

I just wanted to share this with others as when you need the Lord He is always with you. Maybe not the same way, as it’s never happened like that again. But I know He is right there with me! Needless to say I married that woman later that year and we were together until the Lord saw fit to call her home in 1999. I do hope that others may enjoy sharing in this testimony.

God’s blessings be with you.

Jesus Christ Is In The Business of Changing Lives #TruthSaves

I grew up in a very troubled home. My dad had an affair and mum was always unhappy. I was the eldest and had to take on many responsibilities. I was very troubled and insecure which I carried over to adulthood.

I married at the age of 19. I always felt unwanted by my husband. I started having affairs with different people and lived recklessly. I left my husband many times and there was no end to the problems. I was rejected in the end by each guy I had an affair with and finally my back was up against the wall and I didn’t know where to turn because it hurt so bad to be rejected over and over.

That’s when a friend at work introduced me to Jesus. I turned from my wicked ways and decided to carry my cross and follow Jesus. Ever since my life has never been the same again. My husband and I worked through our marriage and are happily married now. God even blessed us with our own house a year ago. He is good. Praise Him.

Truth Saves: Jikky’s Testimony #JesusDidIt #faith #MakingJesusFamous

This God is just too good. A confirm game changer to those who have believe nothing can be done in their lives anymore…. This testimony really touched me, and I know it will touch someone here reading this great testimony. Please take your time and digest the miraculous work of our God.

I don’t know where to begin. The last time I had written a testimony was back in 2010 when my mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I had written a witness of how Jesus had taken us through that difficult time. That writing was the first and the last until now. Here I am now writing again to proclaim and testify that Jesus is truly alive.

When the year began, I remember thinking that this is the third year since the cancer and only two more years to go to be off the cancer medication, be cancer free and cross the five-year mark.

But it all crumbled down. Not long ago, we came to find out that the cancer was back. It was shocking. We were devastated. We had thought that we were over this ordeal and that the experience we had in 2010 was the pinnacle in our lives that we needed to find God. We had so many questions. How come this had come again on us? We were supposed to go on with our normal happy comfortable lives. It just wasn’t fair. Not for my mother to go through this again. As we faced this looming darkness building up before us, we were shattered into a thousand little pieces with our uncertainties. It was as if we faced death itself.

It started with an unsuspecting pneumonia, which was treated. This was followed by cough and then suddenly one day right vocal cord palsy. The local tests showed a suspicion of a spread. Our hearts sank as we realized that we had to now prepare to start on another journey. We didn’t know what to do and what was going to happen. We were stepping into a deep dark tunnel and sinking down into it without knowing its end.

All that we took with us when we left for my mother’s treatment was words spoken to us by a visitor who came to pray for us before we left. He said to be prepared to see all the medical facts one by one. He said that we would be overwhelmed by them but to remember that Jesus is above these facts because He is the truth. The preacher said to believe in His miracle and to ask Him for healing. It was with these words and few strands of hope that we left our home. But little did we know at that time that these very words were going to transform us.

Once the diagnosis started, just as the preacher said, one after another we got fact after fact after fact. A pet scan that was done confirmed that the cancer had progressed, not just to the lungs but also to the kidney. The doctors started a new chemo drug in tablet form. My mother had to swallow about eight tablets of these two times a day. She started having very bad side effects including very bad diarrhea and mouth sores. She couldn’t eat anything that she once liked. It was so painful. The doctors advised, after realizing her age, that it was better to give her a “good quality of life” since anyway she will become resistant to these drugs as well. In other words, don’t struggle and fight, just give in and let it be.

We went in search of hope and got none. Not only were we devastated but also helpless with what was happening to us. All we had was the Bible.

After two months, we decided to go for a second opinion in our own country. And we started a new chemo that had less side effects. My mother managed to complete two cycles but during this time, the palsy worsened to bilateral palsy. My mother had a two millimeter gap in which to breathe. She was breathless with every movement and her breathing was so heavy and loud. She was deteriorating so badly. She was so tired. I could see that she was so weak and wanted to give up. She just couldn’t be free and normal. She couldn’t sleep well at nights because of the breathing. She couldn’t eat properly. There was times were she would just lean against me and rest. And there was nothing we could do. We felt so helpless and desperate to make things right.

We finally decided to do a laser treatment in February 2014 to her vocal chords but unfortunately after a few days she developed swelling. And that was the first time that she suddenly stopped breathing. It was chaos that day. My father was alone with her in the hospital when the medical team rushed and tried to resuscitate her. My father saw her slip away before his very eyes. He said “I thought she was gone.” But by the grace of our Lord Jesus and the medical experts, Mummy was given her life back. Jesus was not finished with His work. After a few days, an emergency tracheotomy had to be done. With that her voice was gone and her normal eating stopped. She was on nose tube feeding. She was put in a critical care unit because her condition became worse. Within a few days she developed multiple viral bacteria in her blood and multiple infections including her lungs which were already weak. She had to be on a ventilator. She was isolated to minimize contamination.

She was struggling for weeks. Then one night in March, for the second time, we lost her. The infection in her lungs was so bad that a mucus plug dislodged and blocked her airway. She stopped breathing. Her heart stopped for several long minutes while the CCU teams tried resuscitate her. This time it was worse than the first. Her lungs had collapsed. Finally they managed to get her pulse but there was no response in her eyes. I remember that night as all this happened. The doctors said that it didn’t look good. They said they had done the best they could. We were crushed. We called our close family back home and informed them so that they could travel immediately to be with us. We called our parish priest who was just about to start the weekend service in church. He said be strong, pray. That night, my father and sisters held hands and prayed together along with the hundreds of people who prayed with us at the same time.

We had reached an end. It was the bottom. There was nothing to do except wait in that darkness. There was no consolation. What was remaining was only hope and prayer. Each of us were alone even though we were together. We told each other to pray, keep praying and be strong to face whatever happened. We gave it all up to Him. We let go and let Jesus do His work. We placed our trust in Him. We remembered the fact and the truth. We submitted our mother to Him who is the Way and the Life; to Jesus who is Love. We finally gave it all up to His will because we believed no matter what happened that it would be good, even though we may not understand it.

While we waited there in that room that night, we recalled Jesus’ love and His compassion and all the miracles He did when he was alive. He healed all who came to Him. He healed all who had faith. He told each of them that it was their faith that made them well. The blind were able to see. The crippled were able to walk again. He not only healed, He raised a little girl to life. He raised Lazarus who was dead for four days! So if you go to Him, will he not heal you too? He never turned anyone away. So go to Him. He is life and the giver of life. Life is His to give and take. And as long as our hearts go on beating, we as His children can go on asking Him. And go on praying to our heavenly Father.
My mother made it through that night. Praise God. And since then every day she has been miraculously improving! She was in CCU in isolation and on a ventilator for several weeks and was even in danger of renal failure which would have required dialysis. But she gradually pulled through. She is now recovering and rehabilitating slowly. We saw Jesus alive as Mummy slowly began to make more and more improvements.

By His mercy Mummy is back again, stronger than ever before.
We thought the multiple infections would damage Mummy but Jesus healed her.
We thought she would never come out of CCU but Jesus took her out.
We thought she would always be on a ventilator or some breathing machine but Jesus gave her life back and restored her lungs. She is breathing on her own now.
We thought she would need to be on oxygen support all the time but God has saved her of that.

We thought Mummy would always be feeding through a tube in her nose but by God’s grace, the tube is removed and she is eating and swallowing soft food, even with the trach tube! Finally she can taste normal food.

We thought she would need dialysis, but her creatinine levels improved and by God’s mercy she doesn’t need it.
We thought Mummy would never be able to speak again, but now she can with the tube. She can finally talk after suffering several weeks of silence.

We thought Mummy would never be able to walk again and be ridden in a wheelchair but with God’s strength she is slowly walking now.

Jesus healed my mother and is continuing to heal her and will heal her completely. And we will go on praying for that.
What I want to say to all who read this — is never ever lose hope even when you think there is none. Don’t ever give up. Place all your hope in Christ, even if doctors tell you they have done their best and even if people remind you of what can happen. Only when men have done their best and there is nothing more left to do, can Jesus come to take control over the situation. Only then can the healing come from Jesus himself and only then can He do His miracle. We have to make room for Him and make way for Him to come into our lives and allow Him to do His work in us. We must not be troubled or worried of what He is going to do. Because whatever it is, it will be good. Give it up to Him, trust Him and be at peace in that faith.

If you don’t know what to do, give it up to God and leave it to Him. He will lead you because Jesus is the way. Just follow Him. If you are feeling hopeless and that all is lost, look to Jesus’ suffering, his strength and his perseverance. He overcame so that you can also overcome like He did. Jesus was so wounded but He carried His cross all the way to Calvary. He fell down three times but he still got up and went on. He fell, He rose. He fell, He rose again. He fell but he still rose and completed what He had to do. He knew he was going to die but he still went on for our sake. So that today when we suffer unjustly in this world, we know how to cope and be strong.

Even when He was dying on the cross, He was full of love and forgiveness. And he stayed strong, persevered, faced death and finally overcame death. He won over it and He rose. And he is alive now. No matter what facts you see and hear, Jesus is the only Truth.

He said ask and you will receive. These are Jesus’ own words. It is his personal promise to you. So ask Him and have faith. He said to ask in His name. So believe and ask in His name. Believe in the words that He spoke from his own lips. This promise is from the same mouth that spoke the words which created this whole world and this universe. He said heaven and earth will pass but His words will not pass away. So take this promise and believe, and have faith and ask in Jesus’ name.

Don’t be like the Israelites in the desert. Even after saving them from hundreds of years of slavery and bondage in Egypt, and even after dividing the mighty sea before their very eyes, they were still complaining when they didn’t get food. They said God had abandoned them. But God will never forsake His own children. You may abandon Him when you are afraid, but He will never abandon you. You may hate Him for the suffering that you are going through, but He will always love you.
So don’t doubt God when things happen. God is good. I believe all things that happen in this life are with His permission. Every single thing is under His control, even if we suffer innocently and it seems unfair. And even if we or others make wrong decisions. I know in my heart that God loves us and He will save us. Just as Jesus suffered innocently but it was the only way to save us. I admit that I cannot understand some things sometimes. But I am not meant to understand everything because He is God. No matter what I do and how hard I try, I just won’t be able to figure Him out because I am only human.

But I have to believe that what we go through may be a small part in a bigger picture that we do not see.

We just have to trust Him because He is our Father, our Creator. So don’t be afraid of anything because we are safe in our Father’s hands. So be at peace when you pray. And be at peace when you have faith in Him. And don’t be afraid of facts anymore because Jesus loves and Jesus heals.

Remember one thing — you have to go to Him and ask him for help.
Turn to the Word of God and you will see it become alive in your lives. In John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” In our journey these words of God became alive in our lives. We felt Him and experienced Him. He was the way that we followed because we didn’t know what to do and where to go or who would help us if we needed help. But we followed Jesus. He took us through each day, one at a time.

Each day we just submitted to Him and we let Him lead the way. He was ahead of us and we just followed. And every day we got the facts from the doctors, but Jesus was the truth — the truth that healed and overcame these facts. We saw it with our own eyes. Each day that He gave us was a miracle. He showed us His Love. Jesus said “I am the Life.” He gave my mother her life back not once, but two times! He truly is Life. He breathed His life into her and restored her.

Thank you Lord Jesus. Thank you. Thank you for choosing us among millions to reveal this to us. Thank you for choosing to touch us with your love, for choosing us and revealing your glory and for choosing us for your miracle. We are nothing and no one but yet you chose us. Thank you Lord. Thank you.

How can we come before you and even utter these words of thanks to you Lord? Because all that happened was because of your mercy and love that we didn’t deserve. I have no words except praise your name Lord. Glory to my Lord, my God, my Father in heaven. Even I had questioned you and asked you why. But now it makes perfect sense, because your love can only be made perfect in the weakest. It is only when we have reached the depths and darkness of the bottom that you lifted us out of the very deep. I would not have known how much you loved me if I had not been so deep down. This life is not everything. Being with our Father in heaven is everything. Our comfort is only with Him.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:3,4 (ESV)
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Revelation 21:7 (ESV)
So don’t be troubled anymore. Don’t cry and don’t give up. You are not alone. Our Lord, our Creator, Our Father who is Love is with you always. Nothing can hurt us. Not even death. We have to trust and be at peace. So as long as there is life, go on asking for what you want and need from our Lord. And keep on asking and believe in his promises.

I would like to end this testimony with these words from the Bible.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)
And with these thoughts …
Remember that one of the wounds on Jesus’ body was for you…
Thank you everyone.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

Things Change #inspiration #motivation

For most people, graduation is an exciting day – the culmination of years of hard work. My graduation

day was a day to remember.

I remember that weekend 8 years ago. Family and friends had flown in from across the country to watch me walk across that stage. But like everyone else in my graduating class, I had watched the economy turn from bad to worse my senior year. After the university, I went on a compulsory full National Youth Service Corp for a year, which was mandatory for all graduates in my country. We worked and got paid by the government and where we worked. After a year, we are done with the programme. We graduates had degrees, but very limited prospects. Numerous applications had not panned out and I knew that the next day, I will start to carter for myself.
The weeks ahead weren’t easy. I gathered up everything I couldn’t carry and put it into storage. Then, because I knew where I was coming from, they couldn’t offer me any opportunities, I packed up and went back to Lagos to find work. But what I thought would take a week dragged into two, and then four, and 100 job applications later, I found myself in the exact same spot as I was before.
You know that feeling when you wake up and you are just consumed with dread? Dread about something you can’t control – that sense of impending failure that lingers over you as you hope that everything that happened to you thus far was just a bad dream? That feeling became constant in my life.
Days felt like weeks, weeks like months, and those many months felt like an unending eternity of destitution. And the most frustrating part was no matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t seem to make any progress.
So what did I do to maintain my sanity? I wrote. Something about putting words on a page made everything seem a little clearer – a little brighter. Something about writing gave me hope. And if you want something badly enough… sometimes a little hope is all you need!
I channeled my frustration into creating an entertaining blog. Where I vent in current entertainment news and some personal write up. I got used to blogging and started making some small change and recognition. Never did I refuse to give up.
And then one day, without any sort of writing degree or contacts in the writing world – just a lot of hard work and perseverance – I was offered a job with a media house to be a writer/ Public Relations Officer to some of the biggest artists in my country. After that, things slowly began to fall into place. Then, a few months later, I got an interview with a telecommunications company to be the Admin Officer of the company. Now I found my part in writing and spreading the good news around for people who are depressed or unmitigated to move on in life. I stopped the entertainment blog and created this wonderful blog “Motivated And Free”. To help people, and also draw them close to Christ.
The moral of this story is… don’t give up. Even if things look bleak now, don’t give up. Several years back, it was a different story for me. But I thank God for His grace and mercy with continuous favour in my daily activities.
If you work hard, give it time, and don’t give up, things will always get better. Oftentimes our dreams lie in wait just a little further upstream… all we need is the courage to push beyond the river.

I will appreciate if this is shared to your loved ones, family, and enemies. Let us kick depression out of the way.

Grew Up In a Christian Home, But With Stagnant Faith #truth saves #testimony #Jesusdidit

I grew up in a Christian household with my mother, brother, and grandmother. I went to a Christian school from kindergarten until my junior year. I attended church every Sunday morning and evening, and as well on Wednesdays. I professed my salvation at age five, but I never grew in a close relationship with God. I was a stagnant Christian; I professed to love God, but I never bore fruit. Around my sophomore year, my mom’s devotion to the church became lax and eventually we stopped going altogether. At this point I started to go my own way, obsessing over video games and falling into pornography. A dear friend of mine (also a straying Christian) introduced me to marijuana, and we wasted two and a half years smoking, gaming, and doing as we pleased.

God brought me to a point of realization that if I continued down that path, I would live a pointless and unfulfilled life. Soon after I was caught shoplifting, and God led me to a Bible believing church where I served my community service hours. While there I almost immediately got plugged in with a small group of men my age. It’s been amazing to see how God has brought me back to himself, and how He is changing me into a vessel that He can use. I’ve lived the first 19 years of my life myself, and I plan to live the rest of my days for my faithfully loving Father!

True Story: What God and His Word Have Done For Me #Jesusdidit #Truthsaves #testimony

*Before Jesus saved me, I was steeped in and infatuated for most of my teenage years with pornography, writing and reading explicit sexual stories on the Internet, as well as not being celibate with my then boyfriend. I also had an addiction to sexual fantasies and masturbation. After Jesus saved me with his Word, I am now not at all interested, nor do I watch, read, and write, sexual material. Also, I am celibate and recently Jesus healed me from painful addiction to autosexuality, though it is still a journey and I must rely on His strength to not give in to a sudden onset of thoughts (very sudden, so I know the devil sends these thoughts, they are not natural).

*Before Jesus saved me, I was haunted by childhood memories of sexual abuse (both as victim and even perpetrator, experimenting with others). After Jesus saved me, I forgave everyone and also asked for forgiveness, and also, I am extremely happy nor do I give thought to those thoughts brought up by satan to remind me.

*Before Jesus saved me, I was deeply wounded by being rejected and abandoned by my earthly dad (saw him about three times in my life) as well as my mom (she left for NYC three days after I was born, I heard, to pursue her own interests and goals; I only have maybe two childhood memories of her in my mind). After Jesus saved me and allowed my Heavenly Father God to adopt me (he is the Best Father in the whole world), I am set free from those horribly sad feelings, as well as my mom and I are close (My mom has been changed by God also).

*Before Jesus saved me, I was participating, both knowingly and unknowingly, in witchcraft (Harry Potter I read as well), new age, and eastern spiritual activities. I was tormented constantly day and night by demons who actually abused me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually. I was at the point of suicide. After Jesus saved me, I have peaceful nights of sleep because He blankets me in his mercy, grace, hope, and love.

*Before Jesus saved me, I had the dirtiest mouth, cursing and sometimes yelling. Sometimes if I felt I couldn’t say enough bad words in my angry rant, I would literally growl; that was how bad my temper was. After Jesus saved me, I have found true enjoyment and joy in speaking what is pure, true, holy, lovely, and edifies and helps others. And I am not forced to speak like this. The Holy Spirit in me makes it natural that I speak only good. Also, I don’t have a temper anymore, unless I sinned in some area, and sometimes my old nature peeks through to try and gain entrance in my life again. But when I am in agreement with the Holy Spirit, and walking in Him, it is natural to speak and act only good.

*Before Jesus saved me, I was a selfish Scrooge. I took inventory of my material possessions and money constantly, and if anyone needed anything, I would not give it to them or lie, saying I had nothing. If any item was taken or out of place, I would go on a rampage through the house, threatening to move out. After Jesus saved me, through the Holy Spirit I am at peace and don’t care about keeping a tight hold on items. Also, I freely give money and items with a very joyful heart.

*Before Jesus saved me, I was a raging shopaholic and irresponsible. I’d buy things on credit, intending not to pay at all and go into debt. I would shop when I felt angry, sad, happy, and any other emotion under the sun. I would literally throw my bills behind the bed so as to keep them out of sight and out of mind. I’d blow all my money from paycheck to paycheck, not saving anything. I would not talk with companies when they tried to get payback. After Jesus saved me, I actually have no interest at all in shopping or even malls. Also I have called back some companies and collections agencies, wanting with a joyful and hopeful heart, to pay them back with whatever money I have. I have also started a savings fund for the future.

*Before Jesus saved me, because of my sin and the fact that satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy everything, my personality and mental stability was chipping away, becoming broken. Personality-wise, I lost all my interests and goals that I use to have as a child. I was an empty being, laying around with no emotion or excitement, typing and constantly looking at sin. I even had a monotone, robotic voice at one time, and any one person that would come around, I‘d immediately copy them and have their interests and personality, because I had none to show. Mentally, I was completely abnormal and not fit for society and socialization (full of hatred, envy, and apathy). After Jesus saved me, I got back interests I had as well as never had before, and am extremely excited about them. I also speak and act with joy, and although I still prefer to be alone at times, God has inserted me into lovely groups at church that have become friends.

*Before Jesus saved me, I was slothful, laying in bed all day after work (if I didn’t call out) or school until I would get sore and weak all over. Even worse, on days off, I would literally go the whole day without getting up or eating barely nothing, not even showering. My bed was my prison. After Jesus saved me, I must always move and am excited about life and my goals, dreams, interests, and what God is doing. Oh, and I love to shower.

*Before Jesus saved me, I had no one to talk to. Literally no one. I lost contact with all friends because I never talked, nor did I want to get out of bed or the house to go anywhere. A few times I was alone at home on Christmas, not caring, yet deep down crying to be with others. I even ignored family. After Jesus saved me, he has put me in contact with many loving people at my church, a lot my age, and also I hang out with my family every chance I get. Also, God is the most desirable Friend I have ever had. I am completely satisfied with his goodness, and love, and purity, and His character and personality. He is my best friend, the first one I had once I was saved. He was there when no one else was there.

*Before Jesus saved me, I actually thought I was better than everyone else, even church folk (I am so not kidding! That is how delusional satan makes people in sin)! I thought I did everything better, that I did it right, that I needed no help, and I got jealous and envious of others who did any sort of accomplishment, and I would rush to mimic them and do it better. After Jesus saved me, I saw the deep, disgusting, deceptive pride I sunk into, and realized that without Him and His Spirit helping me every moment of the day now, I would revert back to my sick state of humanity. Everyday the Holy Spirit makes me joyful in my own set of weaknesses (reveling in that Jesus is strong) as well as strengths (enjoying the gifts He has given me for good), and I get excited about other people and what they do as well without coveting or wishing those accomplishments were my own. I feel full of satisfaction, and have no need of filling a void with accomplishments, because Jesus has filled the void.

*Before Jesus saved me I had anorexia. I lost 40 pounds by not eating in one instance (few months) during high school, and would get anxious even after eating a salad or drinking water, and I would run right away to look in the mirror! For a time I was afraid to look in the mirror because I hated myself and what I saw. I would also literally suck in my stomach at ALL TIMES, so as not to even breathe right, sometimes the whole day until I gasped for air and felt headaches. After Jesus saved me, I have only satisfaction in Him instead of looks, although I admit I still struggle with it since I am a human with weaknesses (I am still in the process of learning to breathe right after sucking in my stomach, because I actually forget to breathe, and find that I haven’t had a full breath in minutes). Everyday I only depend on getting my joy from God, and not by other means, and the Holy Spirit actually fills my need with that, with a fullness of joy and love for Him. I am happier now and forget about looks, and even at times, I prefer to have more curves (what a miracle!)

*Before Jesus saved me, I was moving down the road to becoming a full-blown homosexual. I was bisexual, and had interest in woman, and hated men with a passion and was scared of them, even of them looking at me. I wrote homosexual stories, watched homosexual pornography, and was even ready to sign up on a website that catered to individuals who wanted to date in this “lifestyle.” After Jesus saved me, within the same week, these homosexual thoughts and feelings felt VERY foreign to my body. It felt as if these emotions and feelings were being sent to my body from satan and his demons, and these feelings were in opposition with my natural body’s gender. With the Holy Spirit in me, and me agreeing with Him that these feelings were not mine and were from satan, God blocked the feelings, and I actually began to like guys again, and also I began to lose interest in women, and now I don’t have it at all nor do I want it. One time God even showed me homosexuality was from satan, because as I was walking down a hallway at work, a woman passed by, and suddenly, out of nowhere, a demonic male voice in my ear said “She is pretty” as if this demon was trying to convince me. This was when I had no interest in women also, so my body had no inclination at all toward having desires for the woman. The thought was completely foreign and in opposition with my own body’s natural gender’s feelings. I chose not to agree with the demon and shooed the thought away by Jesus and His truth, and suddenly the voice vanished and my body’s feelings stayed completely utterly intact; there was no inkling at all of a homosexual desire in any of my parts. I am completely set free and healed from this intensely deceiving sin by JESUS and His truth, His light, and His precious gift to me, the gift being He died on the cross for EVERY single sin I have ever committed, and then rising the third day to completely defeat satan and his demons and all of sin and death’s power. He HAS set me free and given me every promise in His Holy Word, The Bible, including this fitting verse below:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Testimony Of Faith #Jesusdidit #Truthsaves

This isn’t a life-changing story but just a testimony of my faith.

All my life I learned Bible stories from my mom. I always believed in God but I never committed my life to Jesus. We went to church until I was about 10 years old. Then there was a three-year gap where we didn’t go at all. My mom became a true believer and she started attending different churches when I was about 12-13. I went with my parents to Community Church. My mom said it was up to me to choose from Community Church and some other church but I chose Community Church because it had comfortable chairs and the pastor seemed to get my attention. A few months later my mom was driving me somewhere. She wouldn’t tell me where she was driving and then she pulled into a driveway of a house. The house was the location of the Youth Group of Community Church. I was a afraid to go in. Once I went in and got to know everyone I felt included. The name of the Youth Group is “IT.” I still attend it on Wednesdays. I liked Youth Group because everyone was nice and they taught me many things from the Bible.

Every Wednesday they would talk about Jesus. Ever since I was a kid I knew he died on the cross and he was born in a stable but I didn’t know the true significance of it.

My youth leaders would speak of how Jesus died for the whole world’s sins and whoever believes in Him and asks Him to come into their hearts, can be saved. I also was taught in Church that “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV Ephesians 2:8-9)

My mom was excited about her faith and she told me about it. A few days later, I asked Jesus to come into my life on my own decision. I don’t remember the exact date. When that happened I knew what I did was good. I talked to my pastor about it and we discussed Christianity on some questions I had. I got baptized with my mom in Lake Winnabago in lots of green slime and water.

During that three years I believed in God and Jesus but I never really questioned my faith. Then when my 16th birthday came around the corner I started questioning my faith and I would sometimes doubt my faith. I would go to many Bible studies and read as many books I could. Many topics I read about were about Jesus, God, creation vs. evolution, etc. I would go to my pastor and ask questions. When I went to a Christian camp, Camp Forest Springs, I asked my counselor and the speaker questions. Some questions were so explainable on both points of views and had so much indirect evidence that it was hard to come to terms with my faith and which side to believe.

Several reasons I have faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior are the accounts in the Bible, the prophecies, and that fact that the Bible speaks of a personal God who wants a relationship with us. I read many books on evolution/creation and creation seems to fit better because everything seems as though it were intelligently and artistically designed. I believe in God because of all the indirect evidence and I think if there were an impersonal force that made everything happen (cosmic accident), I don’t see how unpurposeful human beings can think up purposeful ideas on how we got here. Everything is just so complex that there just has to be a God.

The God I believe in is the God that is spoken of in the Bible. That’s why I believe the Bible is God’s Word. I believe that God is my Creator and Redeemer.

Since my 16th birthday, I can tell you one thing. I’ve never learned so much in my life about God as I have now. It’s like my eyes have been opened and I have gained so much knowledge and wisdom. I’ve learned more at Community Church in a month than I ever have in the 10 years I was at the other church I previously attended. I am not perfect and I still fall a lot into sin but I am saved. My faith isn’t to be taken for granted. Many people say, “Oh, I believe in Jesus and he forgives my sins so I can do whatever I want.” God isn’t like that at all. He hates sin. Sin is totally going against Him. Do you know why he sent a flood on the Earth? To destroy all the wicked people who were full of sin. I think when you become a Christian you want to become more and more Christ-like. I have high and low points during my faith. Some days I will be really happy about my faith and won’t care what people think and other days I will be scared. I think this is normal when you grow as a Christian. Now that I know I have a purpose, I have joy even at the lowest times because I know God has something planned for me.

Delivered From Satanism And Demons #truthsaves #Jesusdidit #testimony

I was an eclectic or self-styled Satanist. In other words, if it worked, I used it. I started out basically a philosophical Satanist; LaVeyan Satanism. But, I found out that there was a ‘power’ or demons were available, thus I began to pursue traditional Satanism, while holding on to what worked from LaVey; his self-centered philosophies.

I ended up being possessed by demons because I gave myself over to them in exchange for their ‘power’. After coming to Jesus Christ, I was delivered from the demons. Here is my testimony . . .

After four years in satanism, I was miserable. I had seen everything that Satan had to offer, and still I was miserable. I decided that the only thing left to do, as a “respectable satanist,” was to kill myself. But before I even checked into the motel, I knew that something or someone might cause me to lose my nerve. For company and courage, I took along a bottle of whiskey and a bag of marijuana. I put the rifle to my head but somehow I could not pull the trigger. I knew that the rifle worked, but I just could not pull the trigger. Disgusted with myself, I tried again the next night. On a September night in 1981, I tried to hang myself. I put the rope over a rafter in the garage, and kicked the chair out from under me. I landed on the floor with the rope still tied to the rafter. “What a failure,” I thought, ” I can’t even kill myself.”

The story of my involvement in satanism is so classic that it’s almost cliche’. I was a lonely young man from a dysfunctional family. My father was an alcoholic. Things at home got worse until finally, my parents divorced. I was looking for a place to belong. I was looking for people who would pay attention to me and give me acceptance. I was looking for love, but I was caught in the middle of a violent house that left me feeling hopeless and frightened. In response, I started looking to the supernatural for courage and for some mystic power over my early existence. I was ripe for such an experience, and for a long time I had been interested in magic and other aspect of the paranormal. Even as a young boy, I knew that there was a spirit realm, and that there had to be a way to tap into it.

My first contact with satanism came when in 1978; a snowstorm took my hometown by surprise. I was a 17 year old high school senior, and was working in a local store during the storm. I was just beginning to wonder how I would get home that night, when the store’s assistant manager, a young man of just 18, invited me to stay at his apartment, just a short walk away. This young man seemed to have everything that I had ever wanted. Prestige, power, he gave every indication that he was in control of his life and acted much older than his 18 years. That night, he told me the source of his strength. I was fascinated. He showed me the magic notions and occult objects, which he had accumulated. I was convinced. Later that night, we performed a ceremony, and I gave my life to Satan.
After I graduated from high school, my “teacher” and I moved away to attended college. The two of us attempted to begin our own satanic coven. Our coven was to consist of thirteen disciples but we were only able to recruit six, all of them males. The six of us shared a house, where we conducted what I call “freelance” satanic rituals, creating and improvising ceremonies freely. Coven activities included casting spells and desecrating Bibles and any other Christian articles that we could get our hands on. During this time I was in contact with demons on a regular basis, though not with Satan himself. Demons were powerful underlings, that were at my beckon call…or so I thought. Eventually the frightening and distasteful parts of satanism overshadowed the thrilling parts. I began to worry about where the coven might be headed. I knew that I could not participate in the next step . . . I knew that there were lines that even I would not cross. I wanted out.

I thought at the time, that the only thing left to do was to kill myself. To my dismay, I failed. I know now that only Divine intervention could have saved me from both the gun and the noose. After returning home, I tried to drink myself into oblivion, but found that the taste of beer turned my stomach. So instead, I lit a cigarette to calm my nerves…but it burned my lips! So finally, I, the satanist priest in the making, went to my room, lay in my bed and began to cry. I will never in my life forget what happened next. It was late at night. The rest of the coven was out partying so the house was empty. Out of the silence I heard a voice from beside my bed that said “Get Out!” I stopped crying and looked around the room expecting the presence of a demon. This was no demon. The voice moved to the foot of my bed and said again. “Get Out!” I remember being so shaken at the command that I immediately obeyed. I crawled out of the nearest window in my bedroom and onto the driveway…and into the presence of God.

My knees went weak and I fell on my face, there was no mistaking Who this was. Looking up at the sky I pleaded, “Jesus, just make my life okay.”

I have come a long way from those days in satanism. I still believe in a spiritual reality. I believe in both demons and angels, evil and good. I have simply traded darkness for light. The Lord Jesus Christ has helped me through complete recovery.

I have been married now for 18 years. My wife Liz and I live in South Carolina. With God’s help I have earned a M.A. in Pastoral Counseling and have launched Refuge Ministries. Together, we instruct others about the dangers of the Occult, New Age beliefs and other false teachings. We don’t just work with former satanists; I know how it feels to be a lonely and confused person, driven to despair. We are here for who ever the Lord would send.

Saved From Lust And Sex #testimony #truthsaves #Jesusdidit

How I Became a Christian

When I was 21 years old, I began to have a desire to get closer to God. Having grown up in the Catholic Church, I figured that getting back to weekly mass was the best place to start. I was dating a girl at the time, and we were involved sexually. I knew this was against the will of God, and I wanted to stop, but it’s pretty hard to quit. One night I told my girlfriend that I didn’t want to have sex anymore. After that, our relationship lasted about a week.

I felt good about my decision, but I knew I still needed to ask God to forgive me for having sex outside of marriage. I decided to go to confession. I told the priest what I’d done. He asked if I used protection when I had sex. I asked him if he meant a condom. He said yeah. I said yes. He said that it was O.K., as long as I use a condom.
I walked out of that church a happy man. I resumed my sexual activities. A few months later, however, the guilt returned. I knew it was wrong, condom or not. I stopped having sex, and decided that I would try not to have sex until I got married.

A friend of mine invited me to Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego. Having never studied nor read the Bible (or been encouraged to by the Catholic church), I enjoyed the sermons very much. I heard the gospel and understood it, and believed it, but I wasn’t ready to repent (change my ways). I thought I was cool with God, since I wasn’t having sex anymore. Then I heard the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew chapter 5-7. Jesus said that if you lust after or fantasize about women, it’s just as bad as committing adultery, as far as God’s concerned. I’d stopped having sex, but I hadn’t stopped lusting after girls, or fantasizing. I figured that if I set my mind to it, I could probably (maybe & hopefully) hold out from having sex until I got married. This was a possibility. But I knew that there was no possible way on this planet that I was going to stop fantasizing, or looking at and lusting after beautiful women. No way.

I continued going to the Bible study, and learned about the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that God can give you power to resist temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will allow you a way out, that you may endure it). I figure that made sense. If God is all powerful, and if He can do anything, then yeah, He can keep me from lusting after women.

So, after about two months of Bible study, I prayed to Jesus and asked Him to forgive me of my sins. I asked the Holy Spirit to come into my life, and give me the power to live the way God wants me to. This happened at a service at Horizon Christian Fellowship, at a Miles McPherson service on a Wednesday night.
The very next night, I got a call from a girlfriend that I hadn’t seen in months. She wanted to take me out. She had never offered to take me out before this night. The only time we ever spent together was when I went to her house in the middle of the night, maybe once every couple months. Now, she wants to drive over and pick me up, and take me to her “special place”, some mystery location that she wouldn’t reveal. I remembered something about being tempted after you get saved. I thought I probably shouldn’t go out with her. But dumb as I was, I told her to come get me.

She arrived at my house at around 10:00 PM. I asked her to stop by the post office before we went to her “special place”. The Sports Arena post office is open late into the night. As I was leaving the post office, I noticed something on one of the counters. The place is usually cleaned by that time, this object caught my eye. I picked it up. It was a Bible. A little red Bible booklet with Old English type. I immediately remembered something about God always being with you, and helping you resist temptation. I put it in my pocket. I got back in the car, and headed for the “special place”.

I grew up in San Diego. I’d ridden my bike and driven my car all over San Diego. This “special place” is visible from the I-5 freeway (a road I’d been on many times), yet I had never seen it. I’d heard about this “special place”, but had never been there until this night. The “special place” turned out to be the Mount Soledad War Memorial – A thirty foot tall CROSS. Yeah, a cross. So now I’m standing there looking at this cross, with a Bible in my pocket. I was so happy. I felt like God was saying, “You’re my boy now.” All I could think of was how awesome God is. All I talked about was God, and the cross, and, “Ya know when I was little, I went to Sunday school, blah blah blah…..” Of course my date was frustrated, so we left. When we got in the car and turned on the radio, there was a PREACHER on!!!!!
It was a commercial or newscast or something. I was laughing at this point. God rules! We ended up at her house. Now, for the past few years, I hadn’t set foot in this girl’s house without ending up in bed. But tonight was different. Sex was the furthest thing from my mind. We sat in the kitchen. She gave me a hot chocolate. After about ten minutes of nothing, she asked if I wanted her to take me home. I said yes. And that was the end of that. That used to be the end of this story, but a few years after this happened, she called me out of the blue, and I invited her to a Harvest Crusade (outdoor evangelism meeting, similar to a Billy Graham service). She ended up getting saved, and she’s been walking with the Lord ever since, PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!

God totally delivered me from sexual sin AND from fantasizing & lusting after women. When the desire to lust comes, when that initial thought comes, I’m able to stop it immediately, by the grace of God. I got saved at age 21. Six years later, I married my best friend. Having kept myself pure for so long, I was able to come into a marriage relationship without the excess baggage that comes with being in one sexual relationship after another. I praise Jesus for setting me free!!!! God can do anything, he can change your life, no matter what you’ve done. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!