I’m at a young age and have definitely made mistakes. There’s a difference between just worshipping and trusting in Him at church and involving Him in your day-to-day life. I went to church and did all the things, and then fooled around with people who were anything but good for me. I was under the impression that certain commandments didn’t apply to me. Then something happened. I felt God’s presence, full of love for me. He’s more fulfilling than anything of the flesh. All I had to do was turn away from the sins of my life, and He helped me turn my life around.
Walking in Faith
Ladybugs. That is what I was decorating her nursery in. Our daughter was stillborn. I remember the pastor of our church at the time came to the hospital and as he walked into the door, the first words out of my mouth were, “I feel God in you.” That was 2009. It feels like yesterday. Since that day, nothing but trials and tribulations have happened to my family. Job loss. Financial issues. Depression. By God’s grace I have finally begun to live for Him. “You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)
His Ways are Perfect
The really cool thing is when we surrender and He works through us as vessels and tools in His hands. Hiking with the women last weekend allowed interaction with some who have yet to know Christ. Sitting at the taco table, one of the ladies shared that she was a transcendentalist. Asking her to help me understand what that was like for her allowed me to share about Jesus: relationship, not religion! She spoke about the beauty of the creation being her temple, we talked about the Creator. Seeds planted! Opportunities everywhere! Listening always to hear and not to respond but to follow the Holy Spirit 🙂
Walking in Faith
Twice now, I have been blessed to live through incidents that take life away. Every day, I wonder, pray, and ask to understand the acceptance of illegal turmoil that my “blessed” life has, and continues to have in it – physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. Today’s service helped me understand more. I am alive for a reason, and God is the only reason why my life is continuing. God will always be in my heart, mind, and soul for everything. Thank you Austin Ridge…and God!
Walking in Faith
God is so good. I was in an abusive marriage, my son was struggling with drug addiction, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and was on the brink of being laid off. I was desperate to create a peaceful life for me and my daughter, to find serenity in all the chaos. I surrendered my life to Jesus, laid my burdens at His feet, prayed for wisdom, peace, direction. Jesus redeemed my life. I have a beautiful blended family now, loving husband, 5 healthy, happy kids, cancer is in remission, recently celebrated 25 years at my job. I’m overwhelmed by God’s grace. Jesus never left my side.
My grandson Hudson asked me, “Papa, please come to church with us.” So I said yes, and for the first time in my 65 years, I started going to Austin Ridge. Right after I started attending in July 2022, we went to Alaska for a cruise.
One day while beach combing I looked down and and found a perfectly made cross from the sea of driftwood! Stunned, I picked it up and marveled as I held it to the sky. I said to myself, “This is a sign from God and Jesus to attend Austin Ridge!” I love our church; so thankful my grandson helped me find Jesus and faith!
It happened in Guatemala; I was 18.
I got kidnaped in my own house. I had a gun to my head all those hours and several threats of pulling the trigger. I just prayed to Our Father steadily.
But the last threat sounded real, so I stopped praying and let myself go. I saw a few images of my childhood, and then, there He was. There was Jesus; a magnificent light and peace. When I opened my eyes, the men were gone, and I was alive. During the most horrific time of my life, I felt Jesus holding me tight. At the edge of death, Jesus kept me alive.
Praise & Thanksgiving
For years drugs completely dictated my life. My whole family knew addiction – taking my dad and stepdad. In high school I experimented, thinking I’d be different. It led to a year in jail. I started on meth and lost everything; my wife, house, job. Somehow I kept my son. In my darkness, I thought this was normal. In prison for a felony, someone recommended the Bible. I finally realized I was a drug addict. I hated how I’d treated others. As I kept studying, committing myself to GOD, my life changed. After 4 years, I keep growing in my sobriety and relationship with GOD. I’m the luckiest man alive.
Sometimes God parts the sea, sometimes we need to step in first. Feb 7, 2021 at 5am, I had $42 left in my bank account for the month. I got out of bed and went to my knees. I shared my need with God, He already knew, but I confessed I couldn’t and released it to Him. My phone beeped as I returned to bed and there was a message from a friend sharing a windfall, asking if there was anything I needed (God had prompted her.) By the end of the day I had $500 in my account for the month!
His Ways are Perfect
Six amazing years as a missionary in Spain ended as God brought 1 Timothy 5:8 to my attention. Spain was a double blessing, yet all my daughters moved to Texas and my family began to grow. After much prayer, a 10-month furlough in Austin through COVID, and a connection with ADRN; I finished my last year in Spain June of 2021 and moved to Austin. By the grace of God, doors opened wide for housing, work, and community! There is never a lack of places to serve God… Jesus says “Follow me!”