Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What is Your Story!

     A while back, Dwayne taught on the importance of knowing your story! His sermon was basically his testimony. Some of you have never heard my testimony. If you are going to read my devotions I started thinking it would be good for you to know my journey as a Christian.
      I am one of those people that have struggled with the lack of punch to my conversion. As a preschooler, my uncle started picking me up for church in a big blue church bus. He would always pick me up first and I loved the experience and time with my uncle. The people of my church did not ignore me, each of them started caring for me and soon I had an extended family. When I was in the fourth grade, I attended a revival at my church. When I left for church my mother told me not to get my dress dirty because I was to wear it to school the next day. I remember sitting at church and listening to the evangelist which was something I usually did not do during the sermon. When the invitational prayer was given at the end of the service, I knew I wanted to accept the Lord Jesus as my Savior. I wanted to enter into a love relationship with him! I went down front and prayed with the pastor. I remember the force that urged me to go up front and surrender my life, it is an unmovable force that I have never forgotten. When my uncle brought me home, he came in with me to talk to my parents. As soon as my mother saw me she could tell I had been crying, she made an assumption that I was crying because I got my dress dirty. She started lecturing me and and sent me to the my room. My uncle interrupted her and explained what had happened. She felt horrible and apologized. It is one of the few times I remember my mother apologizing to me! I continued to grow in my church but it was basically scripture knowledge. I started dating Dwayne when I was 15 years old. Dwayne was not a Christian at the time and soon my church attendance started being affected. One Sunday, I was at the lake fishing with Dwayne and his father and a huge storm rolled in. I was very scared: actually all of us were concerned but they will never admit it. I made a bargain (Yes! I now know we should not make bargains with God but give me grace, I was still young). My bargain was that I would get back in church if He saved me from the destruction of the storm. I was back in church the next Sunday. When I was a sophomore in college, Dwayne became a follower of Jesus. We were married about a year later and attended a church in our college town until we graduated. When we graduated we moved and started attending First Baptist in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It was here, I started to spiritually grow in my relationship with Jesus. I feel my personal, heart felt journey with Christ began at that time. We grew to the point of becoming teachers, Dwayne was ordained as a deacon, and then we felt called to the ministry. We moved to attend seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. After seminary, we were church planters in Montana for seven years. We then moved to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma and Dwayne pastored a traditional 100 year old church for four and one half years. After those years, God called us to focus on reaching young adults and we started Fusion church to reach the age group where only 20% or less attend church. Every step we have taken and every assignment God has given us, has taught us more about the character of God. I have learned about His grace, His forgiveness, His empowerment, His love, His workings, His faithfulness, His longing for His children, His father's heart, His provision, and His never ending care. It is with this foundation that I share His lessons with you. My spiritual gift is exhortation and He has provided me much training in teaching. He molded my heart towards women's ministry. Teaching on a blog site is a new avenue for me and He is revealing His faithfulness to me in a new way. I have never considered myself a great writer; though I am trying to teach myself again by studying a grammar book. It is amazing what I have forgotten. Many years ago, I realized that one of the talents God gave me was the ability to see Him in any situation. It is how my mind works and how I ponder on the works of God. Writing these devotions teaches me discipline and allows me to use my gifts and talents and since I have to write it, it keeps me humble. That is a perfect picture for me. Thank you for letting me share this part of my calling with you. I love each of you in a special and unique way! Even those of you who I do not know by name or face, your spirit is in my heart due to the mystery of God!
    What is your story? Have you written it out? Have you shared it with others? God has spent much love and care writing it, all you have to do is embrace it!

When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your soul!
Hebrews 12:3 (The Message)

1 comment:

Steph said...

My Story....Well I grew up in a little Penecostal church till I was about 6. My parents took me and we went with my grandparents. The preacher's daughter and I were friend's but he always raised his voice when he preached and it scared me. :-) Then my family stopped going...I am not sure why and I didn't attend church until middle school. I attended with a freind occasionally. My Grandma Byrd was a big influence she read her Bible to me when I would stay the night with them and took me to church every so often (she went every Sunday) I believed when I was little and often prayed. I think I accepted Christ when I was around 12 but didn't have much accountability so it was hard. Finally my senior year in high school I started going to church again and my mom started going with me (she was/is a believer and was a big encouragment growing up as well)I rededicated my life and was baptised that year. Ever since then I have continued to watch my relationship with God grow and he has shown me so many things.