Trials & Stories

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Lately I have wondered why specific challenges in my life exist. God has been telling me that it’s all because their is a story or testimony there. Something that He will use me to bring Him all the glory. Something He will use me to share with others that will encourage & give hope to them.

Not sure why He chose me for those specific challenges. Why am I the one that has to deal with this? Why do others around me seem to sail through life in these things? Yet, I have to struggle, so that their can be a story there. Did I find that answer? Absolutely not! I don’t know why, all I now is that I was chosen for such a time as this.

What God did answer is this…

Romans 8:18 NKJ…For I consider that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJ…For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

1 Peter 1:6,7 NKJ…In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

That my temporary suffering does not even come close to the glory that will be revealed! That our trials show/disclose Jesus Christ & bring Him praise, honor & fame!

While going through these trials or challenges, it often feels like God has left us and not there. It feels like He is not answering our cries.

I came across a great analogy while reading the book, God on Mute, by Pete Greig. I think it would be best to include an excerpt from the book…

“…our baby Daniel contracted chicken pox. I remember all too well his perfect little baby body covered in prickly, red spots. They were even in his mouth and on his eyelids. His temperature soared, his skin itched, he sniveled, and when he sneezed his nose produced number-11 formations of snot that ran in two streaks down his face.

Watching our baby in such distress was painful. I yearned to tell him why he felt so terrible and that he wasn’t going to feel like this for the rest of his life. But, of course, a five-month-old baby can’t understand words, let along the concepts of recovery and immunity. I gave him tepid baths and smeared him in Calamine lotion, but the relief was short-lived. All I could really do to soothe his distress was to hold him and wait out the days.

Pacing the landing and cuddling Danny one night, it occurred to me that perhaps my heavenly Father wanted to do the same thing for me.

…Twenty years from now, Danny will no doubt understand all about chicken pox, and he will probably look back and be glad that he’s had it. When life hurts and we find ourselves trudging to make sense of unanswered prayer, we often wonder why God doesn’t just click His fingers and make everything better. At such times of unknowing when there’s nothing good in the pain and we’re helpless and hopeless as a baby with chicken pox, there is comfort in trusting God to carry us through the turmoil in His arms. We may not be able to understand why He is allowing the situation to continue when He has the power to stop it, but, like Danny crying without comprehension in my arms, we can still trust Abba, Father.”

~God on Mute, by: Pete Greig

I was blown away when I read that. I honestly had never thought of it that way…like a parent that wants to take the pain away and can’t. All they can do is just be there, comfort us, and try and make us feel better. That’s what God is trying to do for us, if only we will allow Him to do so! Wow.

Right now, I will have to endure these trials, but while I do so, I can trust in God, and know that God can carry me through these trials. He ALONE can bring me peace.

In the end, I will have a story to share with others. And this story will bring so much honor and glory to Him!

What Satan Intended for Evil…

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So I am currently doing this amazing study on the Book of Esther by Beth Moore called Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman. It’s absolutely amazing!!

I was blown away by a certain part of this study. Beth Moore was talking about when Haman had gotten King Xerxes permission to put in the order to have all the Jews killed. Within 1 day of getting the okay from the King, he sent out what we would call telegrams, to all Jews to let him know that their most certain death was coming. In the scripture it gives the timeline: 12th year, 13th day of the 1st month, which was when the order was made. The next day the Jews were notified. And the connection that she makes is amazing. In Leviticus 23, it talks about this timeline. This timeline was the Passover. This was such a significant time for the Jews.

She talks about how the Jews must have been thinking why today of all days? And Haman must have been thinking so highly of himself, thinking that he had ruined this occasion for them. He must have been thinking: “Perfect timing!”

But what Haman had really done was remind the Jews who they were, and what God had done for them. He only reminded them that the God that delivered them from the Egyptians, could now also deliver them from the Persians!!!

What I saw in this that absolutely amazed me, is the concept of What Satan intends for Evil, God intends for Good. Satan intended to destroy the Jews and ruin a day that reminds the Jews of what God had done for them. However, instead God took this evil intention & used it for His glory. In the end He will always be glorified!!! He will deliver us!!!

Here’s a portion of the study:

“He who delivered you from drugs can deliver you from distraction. He who delivered you from bankruptcy can deliver you from bingeing. He who delivered you from infertility can deliver you from inconsistency. He who deliver you from the fire can deliver you from fear. Sometimes God uses the winds of a new threat to blow the dust off a past miracle that has moved from our active files into the archives. Remember, Beloved! Remember what God has done for you!”

His Timing Really is Perfect!!!

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So, I can hardly believe I can really say these words, but I am truly free from all financial bondage….I AM DEBT FREE! I never thought the day would come when we could say those words. And, honestly words can really not even begin to describe the weight that has been lifted.

All I know is that we serve an amazing God!!! He supernaturally chose to free us from our bondage! I am still not sure the reason He chose to do it, but so unbelievably grateful! And, the timing of it all, so perfect. Which I shouldn’t be surprised by that because His timing is always perfect and right on time, even when we don’t quite think so.

We have paid off our car, paid off over $40,000 in debt between credit cards, taxes & medical bills. All those numbers simply blow me away! The last 2 years we were simply overflowing in debt, and didn’t see any way that we would be able to make it through. I knew God would always provide, but in my flesh mind and experience didn’t see how we would ever be floating over debt.

And now…wow, it is so possible. He really does provide, and in perfect timing. Carl had lost his job, and with that loss 75% of our income was gone. How would we ever survive that, with all this debt? How could any of our lenders understand that most of our income was gone? But they were understanding…right up to the moment we would be delivered. But the most amazing thing in all of it, is He chose to supernaturally deliver us from this mess we had gotten ourselves into, at this very moment…at the moment where we only had my part time income to make it through. I assure you, His timing really is perfect!!! And what’s crazy is that a couple years before that we were almost completely debt free, and it all came tumbling back down. And, I know that we were not mature enough or wise enough to handle our money then. I know God knows us so well, that He knew that we needed a couple more years of being slaves to our lenders to really get it! And oh boy, did we get it! I refuse to ever go back to that life of debt and bondage!!

As I think about it…that’s not the only aspect of how His timing is perfect. I had probably had one of the worst years of my life. My grandmother passed away, my husband lost his job, my mom had surgery, my stepmother passed away, I found out my father had a terminal illness, & my husband had neck surgery. I seriously was at the point…what else could Satan possibly throw at me?? Really??? Come on!!!! I was beginning to doubt myself, and I thought God had stopped intervening in my life? You’re a healer? Really? Look at all that had happened over the past year…so much related to healing. I know you are God, I know you heal…but why was no one in my circle getting that advantage of you? Why was all this happening? I can totally say that I don’t understand all of it. But I do know, He was always there waiting with open arms for me, no matter what the enemy threw at me. He allowed me to go through it all, and it only made me stronger, it didn’t matter what was thrown at me, My God is so much bigger! And his timing is perfect! Because after that horribly rotten year, he delivered us from our bondage!!! Why? Because He’s God, and He loves me! And apparently, He has bigger plans for me than I had for myself.

So are you doubting why He hasn’t answered you yet? We prayed for 7 years. But His timing was much more than perfect! Trust in His timing, He knows way better than we do!!!

S2S – Day Three

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On Day 3 we were scheduled to go to Rescue Atlanta. Another homeless outreach that fed people. This one was where we went to where they were and set up tables and fed them. Dzerassa had to meet us there, so she was following Avery most of the way.

On the way there when we were getting off the exit, a red car cut us off while we were going like 70 mph. Avery had to brake and swerve into the emergency lane. We were incredibly close to hitting that car. It was pretty scary. I am convinced that all the praying/covering we had been doing, had caused angels to surround us and protect us during that time…cuz we seriously should have hit that car.

The location we were supposed to go to with Rescue Atlanta ended up having 30 14 year olds volunteer, so we were redirected to another location.

The location we were redirected to was a lot smaller with less people. I helped hand people their food with silverware. The people were very nice and grateful.

When we were finished serving them we just ended up talking to the different people that hadn’t left yet. Melody, Ginger, Dia, Elsy & I were talking to a couple. The man is a cook, and cooks amazing food. We ended up talking about different foods he makes. We also ended up in a conversation about baseball. Then he was talking about that him and his girlfriend will get married. I really enjoyed talking to them.

Right before we left Heather introduced me to a person, that actually knows a college friend of ours, Mary Ellen Freeman Fiddler. I thought that was funny. What a small world! So we talked for a few minutes about Mary Ellen. It was very cool.

We then went back to the Rescue Atlanta Center. We prayed in a huge circle. We prayed against spiritual attacks. We prayed for covering. And we also prayed for supernatural rest. It was very nice. We then ate our dinner. Then we took group pictures in front of the wall that said Rescue Atlanta on it.

We then headed home. We debriefed as normal and they gave out the 100 Grands. Joshua and Elsy were the ones to receive them that evening.

And that wraps up day 3…

S2S – Day Two

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Day 2…

We met at VWC and prepared our dinners for the night. That night we were missing 2 members of our team. One was just unable to make it and the other, was because his pregnant wife had to be taken to the ER. She ended up being okay, though.

We had two events planned for this night. The night was called Operation Jamie & Operation Welcome Home.

The first one…Operation Jamie. We went to the Marta station at the airport. We had 2 teams each on a stair way. We had 5 signs. Jamie wants…to give you…a high five!…Get Ready!…Here’s Jamie (with an arrow pointed at Jamie, and Jamie holding her hand out to give high fives.) It was really cool. It was neat seeing everyones reactions. People were really surprised and had smiles on their faces. One guy was on his cell phone telling someone about it “There’s 5 people on the stairway at the marta station, they are holding signs that say Jamie wants to give you a high five! Get Ready! Here’s Jamie. It’s like an episode of Jacka**!) It was hilarious! I almost busted out laughing.

The second one…Operation Welcome Home. We went inside the airport, and held a welcome home banner. We had 30 welcome back balloons and 30 sets of flowers. We just picked random people went up to them and welcomed them home. Then when some people would walk by we would start screaming and saying welcome home. People were very appreciative and surprised! It was awesome!

We again debriefed when we got back to the church. And they gave out the 100 Grand Bars to two people. But I only remember one of the people that received it. It was Kelly Baker!!! Woop woop!

And that ends Day 2!!

S2S – Day One

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This was the first official day of s2s (Sunday to Sunday). I had been so excited about this all week. I knew I wanted to be a part of this because I had never done a missions trip before, and this was the closest I would get to it, so far. We all went to the 10:30 am service together, and then met up at the V2 building. There we had pizza for lunch, and went through a short orientation. After that we made our dinner for the evening.

We then went to The Furnace, where we had corporate intercessory prayer. We just prayed over our trip. We prayed for protection and a great time of ministering to others.

We then departed in the shuttle, which had no air…we felt like we were suffocating. I ended up with a horrible migraine, ugh! We arrived at the Safehouse Center.

When we got there there was 25 or so people waiting outside. We walked up and immediately a woman walked up and saw Avery & Dede’s precious baby Ava. This woman, I believe her name was Crystal. She was just lovin on Baby Ava. She told us about her son, who is Ava’s age. She isn’t able to take care of her son, somebody else was taking care of her baby. All she had of him was a photo album and his pacifiers that she wore on her neck. It was very sad. I can’t imagine not being with my child.

We were then brought inside Safehouse where we prepared the food for all the people. While we were getting everything ready, they were being ministered to through a service. We prepared 190 meals. We were able to feed a lot of homeless people.

When we came out, I noticed a guy, that had followed me any my dad around when we were in Atlanta a month earlier.

It was very hard to see all these people that do not have homes, and have to rely on other people most times to get food.

Once all was said and done, we headed out and got the Unholy Tour. Unfortunately, the usual tour guides were unavailable. So in their place Avery & Dede gave us the tour. They actually remembered most of it from the last s2s trip.

There was 2 very memorable things that they shared during the tour.

First, we passed a building that they explained used to be an abortion clinic. Not only was it an abortion clinic, but it was one that terminated pregnancies in their 3rd trimester. That alone was heartbreaking. He said that you would see blood and human tissue on the stairs. Fortunately, the leader of Safe house, would walk up and down the street over and over praying that God would close the place down. And praise God, he did just that. They were closed down because of health code violations.

Second, we passed a building that from the outside had signs that said you could come there for counseling. But what it was was a Satanic House of Worship. They would get people in there under false pretenses and then start converting them little by little. They even had people bringing in infants for infant sacrifice. Eventually the leader from safehouse got one of the main guys that worked there converted to christianity. The head lady of this place, was very angry that he “ruined” her best guy. And eventually she was converted also, and the place was closed down. Amazing!!!

 After the tour was over we headed back to VWC where we debriefed and just went over what we all experienced. They Avery and Dede gave out 2 100 Grand bars, to recognize 2 people that either went above and beyond or were really brought out of their box. That night it was Dzerassa and Heather.

And that marks the end of day 1!

Ministry, Leadership & Showing Jesus

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So many things have happened as of late…

I graduated from VWMTC. Wow, and it was amazing! I think the best part of that was my dad coming! It was like the first time in almost 3 years that I had seen him! It was so great spending time with him. We even got to go out on the streets of Atlanta and do the street witnessing thing in Atlanta! It was so awesome actually witnessing him witness to other people! It was awesome seeing the conviction come upon peoples faces! But it was so hard for me when he had to leave, because I had such a great time, and was so not ready for our time to be up! But I was so grateful that he came and I had the opportunity to spend time with him!

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Then once I graduated from ministry school, I was promoted from apprentice to leader. I was then moved to the Something to Believe In group with Harold Levy. He had been leading the group on his own for a while now, and now I was there to contribute and help him out. He is a great leader and I have been learning so much from him. And just this past week we got an apprentice, Leah Lasley. She is absolutely amazing! And I am really going to enjoy having her as part of the leadership team!

Well then, at the end of May, Johnson Bowie, our Fusion Pastor, announced Fusion on Tour. Fusion was taking a break for the summer (well the months of June and July). But it wasn’t really a break. Fusion was/is taking it to the streets. Getting out into our communities, reaching out to people, and just being Jesus to those around us! Amazing! They were really pushing this through our small groups. I was so very excited about this! This is so totally my heart!

So that night that it was announced, the Fusion small groups took groups out that night to do their first outreach. Our group, Something to Believe In, went to the Gwinnett Braves stadium to give out waters to people for free. But, by the time we got there, the game was over and most of the people were gone. So we then went to the Walmart up the street and gave out waters up there! It was pretty cool to see the look on peoples faces! They were not expecting it at all. And it was really cool to see our whole group out there contributing!

Since then our group has done many outreaches…lent a hand at the Norcross Co-op, given out hotdogs for free at Lilburn City Park, had a BBQ for Neighbors in Neil’s neighborhood in an effort to try and get to know his neighbors, gave out waters at Shorty Howell Park and accompanied Fusion at the Atlanta Dream Center and adopted a block. It has been totally awesome getting out in our community and doing these things! I can’t wait to see what God does in July!
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Then I had an amazing opportunity to be a part of s2s! It stands for Sunday to Sunday. It is a missions trip that Avery & Dede Nesbitt came up with in our own back yard. It’s an inner-city missions trip after work every day. I was able to be on the team that did this in June, this past week! It was totally amazing 

Stay tuned…