Thursday, October 15, 2009

I remember it like yesterday, I had just gotten off work, and pulled the truck around to the front of the store to load some grocery's I was bringing home. As I slid through the door with things spilling from my arms, I noticed three sets of eyes across the parking lot watching me. You know those baggy black jeans, chains, backwards hats, banging rock music, the kind of kids I've always ignored. But something in me hit me as I watched them hanging around their car, these were souls for whom Jesus died. I was in a hurry, and honestly, mostly scared. I didn't want to speak to them, but as I pulled out of the parking lot, I whispered a prayer "God, somehow bring those boys to yourself. Show them your salvation"

A minute later Ezra came running across the street, he saw the same three boys. The same three souls. Something inside him pressed him to go talk to them. As he spoke to them they told him all about the Satanism that they were getting into. About the spirits that haunt them in their dreams, about the music that speaks to them, about the desperation they feel inside. Of course we prayed for them, but for a good while it didn't seem that we were getting anywhere. From time to time Ezra would see them, especially the one boy but it was always the same answer "I'm not quite ready". A couple weeks ago Ezra spoke with him again and he said "I'm a believer now". Within the last few weeks Ezra has gotten together with him a few times and he says "I wouldn't give this up for anything. I'm NEVER going back to my old life" The Angels in heaven rejoice for one more soul come into the kingdom of God, and one little thing rings in my heart...Would this have happened had it not been for that prayer? What things do we miss in life because we forget to pray? How much more could be done for God if we would pray?

More of my thoughts on prayer...coming later...

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Letter

I have been asked to post "the letter" that I spoke of in my testimony. So I will do so, here it is.

November 11th 2002

My Dear Lydia,
Thank you for the letter.
I guess I don't really know what to say, but I will try to explain it all a little. We are ALL sinners before a HOLY God and our sin has taken us away from God. Our sin has separated us from God and we deserve to die and go to hell. But God loved us even while we were sinners and he sent his only son to die for us and for OUR sin. When Jesus died on the cross he died for the sin of the whole world. He bore OUR load of sin and died in our place.
I will write about this by telling a story: There was a little girl in a schoolroom of children and she had whispered and was going to be punished. But just before she was to be whipped a boy stepped up and said "Are you going to whip Eunice, Sir?" "Yes" he answered, "I never break my rules!" And the boy said "No, we will not see her whipped. Whip me if you must keep your rules, but don't touch this little girl." So the teacher sent the little girl back to her seat and whipped the boy instead. Now this boy bore her punishment. This is what Christ did for us. We were that little girl going to get whipped and he took our punishment. He bore our sin so that we can go to heaven through him.
Now you must believe that Jesus died for your sin. You go to him and cry "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" The only way you can get to God is by the blood of Jesus. His blood will wash your sins away. He says "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me." When you get saved you ask GOd to wash your sin away with the blood of Jesus and you become a new creature. And you get baptized so show the world that you are God's. When you go under the water that is like you are dying. You died to self and sin. Jesus died for your sin on the cross and he tells you to take up your cross and that means to die to sin. YOu give it up and give your hear to God. Then when you come up out of the water you are a NEW being.
Christ died and rose again and you being baptized shows that same dying and rising that he bore for you.
So if you will be saved just follow God and keep his commandments.
I am sorry if this is not very clear. If you still don't understand maybe you can ask someone who can explain it better.
I love you very much and pray for you.
I will try to talk to you sometime, but I don't know when.
With lots of Love,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This is my testimony in short. I had to write it out for my application with GMI (Gospel Missions for India)

Hello. My name is Lydia and I've grown up in a Christian home. Ever since I was a young child I've been taught about God and wanted to be a Christian. As a girl of 9 years old I was terrified of hell and was having nightmares. I prayed every night before going to sleep that God would save me, but I never really understood the concept of sin, repentance, forgiveness and true salvation. Because I was too shy, I never spoke about it to anyone outside of my closest friends who were my own age and just as confused as I. I was frustrated at God for not saving me, and looking around me at some of the people in my life, I finally said, "If THAT is a Christian, I'm never going to be one." With that I quit trying. I quit caring. But God never gave up on me. He kept prying at my heart. One of the girls from church wrote me a letter asking me if I was saved and if I actually understood salvation. I wrote her back with No and No. Two days later on November 12th 2002, I was at youth meeting when the same girl returned me a letter. I read her simple explanation of God's simple plan , and with tears running down my cheeks I went and knelt behind an old shed and cried my heart out to God, giving it to him. At 11 years old, I was still shy about my new faith and told my mom by writing her a letter. Almost a year later in October 2003 I was baptized and joined my church, The Rhinelander Congregation. After that life was "easy". I kinda just went along with it. In June of 2006 we had Roy Daniel here from South Africa for our first Youth Conference. One of the last days Roy preached a sermon called "A cake not turned." It was about Christians whose life had not really been turned. He asked for those whose life fit the description to raise their hands and he would talk to them afterward. I felt I should raise my hand, but my pride would not let me. I'd been a member of the church for a couple years already, what would my friends think? But as soon as the meeting was dismissed I knew I could not push it aside. My whole body was trembling. I knew I should have gone. Suddenly I realized it wasn't too late. Roy left with those who had raised their hands, but I could still get right with God myself. Fleeing to the woman's bathroom, the only place of peace and quiet, I cried out to God one more time and told him my life was ALL his. He could do anything he wanted, take me anywhere he needed, and make me into something he could use.

Since that time I've been through ups and downs, been through the fire, and been reminded that "When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." More recently, with getting out of school and turning 18, I'd been praying seriously about serving God for a time across seas somewhere. I wanted to DO something with my life. It didn't seem like anything was coming up,
and finally I said "Ok, fine. God, if you want me to just stay here in Rhinelander and face the life you have set before me, then I'm willing to do whatever you want." A couple days later Steve Rusk asked me if I would be interested in serving in India. I thought about it for a while and finally spoke to my parents about it. My dad greatly encouraged me to go, and my mom gave her blessing as well. It seemed that God was just waiting for me to surrender to him, and then he opened a beautiful door.