Archives for May 2013

How God Found Me: My Testimony

I was raised on science.  I grew up watching nature shows and reading National Geographic magazines.  My home was loving and supportive, but there was no mention of God.  Instead, I learned that we had evolved – but look how far we’d come!  Humans had become the top of the food chain by using their brains, and now that we were enlightened enough to reject primitive myths and superstitions, science and progress would eventually bring about the betterment of humanity. That was my truth – my belief system.

As I grew into a teen and then went off to college, I placed my faith in science to eventually give us the answers to the universe, and then in politics to eventually better society.

This is me in the summer after my junior year of college:

1_Me_Summer1997

I was fiercely liberal, and thought conservative viewpoints were what was wrong with the world.  I sometimes felt like something in my life was missing, but I had no desire to seek God.  I thought God was a myth created by people who couldn’t handle the hardships of life.

After college, I was hired into the video game industry and became good friends with a co-worker, Jason, and his wife, Tiffany.

Here’s a pic of them from just a few weeks after we met:

2_Jason&Tiffany_Disneyland_1998Fix

One day, we got in their car to go somewhere, and I noticed a Bible on the floor behind the driver’s seat.  They were Christians!  But, they seemed so normal!  I was surprised and a little worried…

Over the next few months, I hung out with them a lot, and we became better friends.  Sometimes the topic of God would come up, and we would argue and argue about it.  I considered myself an agnostic – I did not believe there was a God, but I was somewhat open to the small possibility that I didn’t know for sure whether there really was one.

At one point, I went to church with Jason and Tiffany to see what it was like.  I’d never been to a church service before.  I was appalled.  I looked around at everyone and thought I would NEVER believe what they believed.  During the songs I thought I would NEVER want to sing about God.  My emotions were so strong.  I was so angry, and I felt like I was under attack.

And, then one day Tiffany asked me if I would read the Bible with her.  From the time I was a teenager, I’d always felt like I would be burned if I ever touched a Bible.  I didn’t think I’d literally be burned, but my aversion to the idea was so strong that I sort of felt that way.  I felt like if I even just touched a Bible, it would corrupt me in some way.  But, for some reason, I agreed to read with her, but only from the Old Testament.  My entire ancestry is Jewish, and I was curious about the Jewish history in the Old Testament, so I was willing to read from that.  She agreed, and we started reading Genesis.

This is the Bible I used.  It was the first one I ever owned!

3_FirstBible

Sometimes just Tiffany and I would read together, and sometimes Jason would join us.  We read through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and part of Numbers, and then one day Tiffany asked if we could move to the New Testament.  Over those weeks God had really softened my heart toward Him.  I no longer bristled when I heard about Him.  The thought of Him no longer made me angry.  I agreed to move on, so we flipped forward to Matthew and continued to read and read and read.

Very quickly, God began to shatter the stereotypes about Christians I’d grown up believing were true.  He showed me that I was actually prejudiced against Christians and Christianity.  That was a huge blow to me.  I had been completely blind to that.  I prided myself on my open-mindedness and tolerance, but in reality, I was only open to what I agreed with and what I could see with my own eyes.

Eventually, I was the one calling Tiffany and Jason to ask if we could get together to read.  I was ON FIRE to read and couldn’t read enough fast enough.  I even started reading on my own.  I still didn’t believe in God, but the possibility of His existence was starting to become a reality for me.  I wanted to talk about God as much as I could, and I told my parents about some of the things I’d been reading in the Bible.  My mom was upset and asked if I really believed that Jesus was the Son of God.  I said I didn’t know, but that it could be true.

Over the next few weeks, I continued to grow closer and closer to God.  I told Tiffany one day that I felt like I was falling in love with Jesus.  I had had my heart broken in high school, so the idea of falling in love scared me.  But, Tiffany said that Jesus would never disappoint me or hurt me.

A few weeks later I heard something on the radio that made me start to rethink everything again.  I felt crazy – what was I doing thinking I might believe in God?  Tiffany called me to see how I was doing.  She said she had just felt strongly that she should call me at that moment.  I felt better after talking with her, but I still wasn’t convinced that God was real.

And, then one night, everything changed.  God showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was real and that I was a broken, shameful sinner who desperately needed Him.  I wasn’t just a person who didn’t believe in God – I was actually an enemy of God’s.  I didn’t believe the truth about Him, and I had never placed my faith in Him.  I had no love for Him or any desire to follow Him.  I thought I knew the truth about the universe, but it wasn’t the truth, it was just something that I had reasoned-out based on my own opinions or opinions of people I decided to agree with.  My sins against God and my unbelief were separating me from Him, and I was destined for hell.

But, God made a way for me to be reconciled back to Him!  God is holy and just so He must punish sins, but because He loved me so much, He decided to punish His Son, Jesus, instead of me!  All I had to do was believe that when Jesus died on the cross, He took my punishment for me.  God showed me that He was and is the Truth.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through me.’”

(John 14:6 NASB)

 

I finally admitted that I was a sinner.  I apologized to God for all of my sins and asked Him to forgive me.  I put my faith and trust in Him, accepted Him as my Savior and the Lord of my life, and He saved me from the punishment that I deserved!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’”
(Romans 1:16-17 NASB)

 

The fact that God would be willing to do that for me proved how much He loved and still loves me!  He showed that He is the only true source of love and hope!

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
(John 3:16-18 NASB)

 

Now, I love to sing praises to God, and I love to listen to hymns and praise music! I also love going to church and studying the Bible, and I can’t say enough good things about my sweet and caring church family – one of whom is Molly!

Even though God saved me 13 years ago (this month!), He continues to show His love for me on an ongoing basis.  He is always faithful to meet me where I’m at, encourage me, help me, and guide me through good times and bad.  I am eternally grateful to Him for saving me and loving me, for all of the ways He has blessed me, and even for the trials He’s used in my life to grow me.

So, if you have never accepted Jesus as your savior, what’s stopping you?  Do you think you already know the truth? Do you trust yourself and your own view of the world over God?  Salvation from hell and reconciliation with God are a free gift from Him!  It’s not too late to trust in Jesus!  Come to Him as you are, admit that you have sinned against Him, and ask Him to forgive you!  Place your trust and faith in Jesus – He’s the only one who’s worthy of that!

“…’Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’”
(Revelation 5:12 NASB)

 

Love,tami

Spring Giveaway – Last Day to Enter!

Journal Photo Promo 3

Good morning Friends!

Don’t forget that our deadline for entry is TONIGHT – 8 pm (PST)!

I’ll be honest…we need more ENTRIES!!! It’s not hard – just snap a photo of your current prayer journal (or lack thereof!) and tell us briefly why a Legacy Prayer Journal would bless you – or a friend! You can email us your photo, post it on our Facebook page HERE, or post it on your Instagram site, using the hashtag – #throneofgrace! Boom, boom, BOOM! And you’re a WINNER! Simple Simon!

Looking forward to seeing your photos!

By His Grace and for His Glory,

The Throne of Grace Team

Prayer & Praise Monday – May 20, 2013

Prayer&PraiseMondayGraphic2

 

Hello Prayer Warriors!

We’ve got an exciting update to share from Bonnie Jean in New Jersey! But first, I want to take a quick minute to remind you that our Photo “Journal”ism Contest deadline is TOMORROW!! We are excited to give away one of our handmade Legacy Prayer Journals — and the winner could be YOU! Be sure to read all the details on the contest HERE, and make sure you submit your photo entry by tomorrow, TUESDAY, MAY 21st at 8 pm (PST). Now, on to this week’s prayers and praises…

PandP Post Blessing Bags

• Praise God that every last Blessing Bag has now been distributed among the needy in the Hurricane Sandy area. We are so thankful for Bonnie Jean and her family who have partnered with us in this way. Despite her own struggles as a result of Sandy’s devastation and despite major health struggles, Bonnie Jean was faithful to the task! Well done, good and faithful servant! 🙂 I’m hoping we can share some photos from New Jersey soon!

• Bonnie Jean has asked for our continued prayers for her health. Specifically, she will be having minor back surgery TODAY, as well as beginning laser treatments for pain. Please pray with us that the surgery will be successful and that Bonnie Jean will have a speedy recovery. Let’s pray that the Lord will meet all the needs of her family as she continues to struggle through her health issues.

• Bonnie Jean would also love prayer for the salvation of her husband, Michael. I was encouraged to hear that the family’s participation in the Blessing Bags Project made a big impact on Michael. He has been amazed by the way the body of Christ in California is caring for those in need on the other side of the continent. May God continue to be glorified as we seek to be the hands and feet of Christ to those near and far!

• Please continue to pray for Deb’s mother-in-law, Anh. You may recall she has been suffering from dizzy spells after a concussion. She is doing much better! In fact, she was finally able to make plans to come to California to visit with Deb and her family next month. Please pray that nothing would hinder that trip and that she would continue to improve.

• Finally, please pray for Throne of Grace this week. We have a big meeting on Tuesday and are seeking the Lord’s wisdom and discernment over the next step for our ministry. We are hoping to establish a partnership that would allow us to produce some of our products in larger quantities and thus possibly open the doors for wholesale marketing and more long-term partnerships with other ministries that could help distribute our products. Please pray with us that God will be glorified through our meeting tomorrow!

That’s it for this week! If you have a praise report to share or would like us to be praying for you, please don’t hesitate to let us know! It would be our privilege to help carry you to the Throne of Grace. You can let us know by leaving a comment below, or by emailing us at:

info[at]throneofgrace[dot]com

 

Please submit prayer requests by NOON, Friday, to by included in the Prayer & Praise post for the following Monday!

Blessings in Christ,molly