Author Topic: "Follow the Lamb"  (Read 3258 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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"Follow the Lamb"
« on: March 14, 2015, 02:21:04 PM »
My name is Sean Brizendine, and my sincere desire is to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth (Revelation 14:4). May you be blessed by the testimony of Jesus who has saved me from sin and depression, as one who has been healed by the power of God's Holy Spirit.

I was born and raised in Modesto, California in 1987 to John and Elaine Brizendine, and first accepted Christ when I was five years old, praying with my mom. I grew up in a nondenominational church, but my mom taught me about the seventh-day Sabbath from the Bible as she had been an Adventist earlier in her life, as had been my dad. They left the SDA Church before I was born, but there were still aspects of their past connections with the SDA Church that affected me--such as a commitment to the health message to some extent, and an awareness of (but not consistently keeping) the seventh-day Sabbath.

When I was about seven, my dad started to show signs of a severe brain disease called Pick's disease. His illness professed to the point of his death by pneumonia in 2000, when I was 12. During this time, my mom had been homeschooling my sister and me, and we were experiencing a lot of stress. My mom found out that she had cancer about a year after that, and I remember being so frightened at the thought of losing her, since she was the only parent I had left. I really prayed hard for her to get well, but the sarcoma cancer was really taking its toll on her. She continued to share a strong faith in Christ with me, and in the early part of 2002, I remember her saying something to the effect of the following to me: "Sean, when I die, you are going to be sad. But do not sorrow like those who have no hope. We believe we will see each other again when Jesus comes again." I took hold of the hope in such passages as 1 Cor. 15 and 1 Thess. 4, trusting in God though the thought of losing her was painful. When I was 15, she died not long after in 2002, appointing guardians who were members of our local nondenominational church to be guardians for my sister and me. This was a transition with trials and tribulations, but God was faithful through the midst of it all--and would lead me to be where He wanted me to be to learn more about His truth and His remnant church. A text that became especially precious to me was Job 13:15: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him." I struggled a lot with depression and issues with my moods--which seemed to a great degree trace back to shortly after my mom's death. But God is able to heal every mind and heart in His time and way! "For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

Due partly to the fact that I had an uncle in the area of Pacific Union College, I started college there in 2005 (He was SDA, and prayed for years for me to become SDA). I was not a Seventh-day Adventist, and was not honestly planning on becoming one--but God had other plans! While there, in 2007 I became more aware of His truth and decided to become a Seventh-day Adventist by profession of faith (I had been baptized by immersion at age 10 back in Modesto). When I called to tell my uncle that I was becoming a member of the SDA Church, he had tears of joy--it was a tremendous answer to prayer!

That was the beginning of an incredible journey with Jesus of what it means to continue to follow the Lamb. In October of 2007, I strongly sensed God's call upon my life to pastoral ministry, and changed my major from business to theology. The following summer of 2008, I would experience my first time canvassing door-to-door--WHAT A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE!! I realized more deeply than I ever had before of how much it means to have a living connection with God, to trust the righteousness of Christ, and to pray for a deeper experience in being able to allow God to use me. He wanted me to live in complete surrender to Him, and realizing that some of the things I had held on to even after my profession of faith in 2007, I prayerfully was rebaptized in 2008 as I wanted to have a fresh start with Jesus. I am thankful I did.

God has continued to lead in my life. I have been completely healed from the ravaging effects of depression and mood issues, knowing that Jesus Christ is the Great Physician. I love how effective the NEWSTART (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, and Trust in God) principles are when applied with a sincere surrender to God's will for healing by the power of His Spirit. Nothing is too hard for God! Take courage!

I am presently finishing my Masters of Divinity studies at The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University as I am prayerfully seeking where God desires me to serve Him in pastoral ministry. My sincere desire is to be faithful to God's word and the Spirit of Prophecy, teach and live the true everlasting gospel, and to allow God's Spirit to work in and through me each day--that all the fruits of the Spirit may be revealed in my life abiding in Christ. So true this is: "When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}  I enjoy writing hymns, singing Scripture songs, and witnessing to reach souls for Jesus. May God bless you each in your journey by faith working by love in what it means to daily "follow the Lamb." May the testimony of what God has done in my life be an encouragement to you in your walk with Jesus.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: "Follow the Lamb"
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2015, 11:14:07 AM »
Sean, welcome and thank you so much for this inspirational testimony. 
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: "Follow the Lamb"
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2016, 09:39:50 AM »
I thought I would share another testimony that I learned about yesterday. (I spoke with a church member who had been involved with doing the studies with me, and did not know what ever came of the "fruit" of it.)

A few years ago, while I was in Northern California, I had the privilege of doing Bible studies with a few of the members in the church in connection with two ladies named Danielle and Jessica. It turns out that while we were studying with these young ladies, they were also involved in a Satanist group. The man who was leading that Satanist group was about to go to Germany to get initiated as a priest and be able to offer sacrifices as part of their worship of Satan. The girls who were getting Bible studies told that man that they had started to study the Bible. He ended up starting to study the Bible as well, and would turn back from following Satan. He went on to share with that group and the influence of God's word has continued to spread.

To this day, Jessica is still studying the Bible with these church members and I am so glad to know the surety of God's promise: "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11). Hallelujah!

For any of you who have ever given Bible studies or are considering giving them, give your whole heart to God's work as you share. You may never know how mightily God's word will spread until heaven!

I was so encouraged to hear about how God led those young women to share with others, who in turn had an influence on others, that I wanted to share the goodness of God in how He allowed me to be a part of that some years ago. All glory to God!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: "Follow the Lamb"
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2016, 06:47:02 PM »
Amen. What a blessing to be able to share such a marvelous testimony. Thank you. God does amazing things when we allow Him to use us.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: "Follow the Lamb"
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 08:07:24 AM »
Amen, Sister Dorine!  It is amazing when we consider that God is watering the truth we have shared, and often we have no idea of what has been accomplished. Much we won't know of until heaven. Think about the conversation Stephen will have with Paul!! The grace shown to Paul (Saul) when Stephen cried out "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge," began a chain of events in Paul's life that led to his conversion and the writing of much of the New Testament. Yet, Stephen died not knowing the great blessings to follow His last sermon that ended with grace.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: "Follow the Lamb"
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 12:07:53 PM »
I love sharing testimony of what Jesus is doing--and the joy of being in an abiding relationship with Him so that He can work in and through me in ministry as a pastor. As I am currently preparing some precious souls for baptism, I was meeting with a couple and sharing some encouragement with them, and the man I met with shared that he has been praying that "all the fruits of the Spirit" will be in His life. I said "Amen," and was praising God that as He has been giving me His message to share in the evangelistic series, and the guests and members have heard many different times this PHENOMENAL PROMISE of the gospel repeated in different ways and at different times, that God's word is bearing fruit in souls desiring such an experience!

"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {DA 676.4}

It encourages me in the Lord to see that the simplicity of the gospel cannot but help to bear fruit. It is GOd's work to change the heart, to implant enmity against sin at conversion, and to fill a person with His Spirit so that all the fruits of the Spirit are present without one missing--yet He gives us the joy of sharing with others so that they can desire this experience in Christ, and not succumb to the deceptions of these last days that allow a person to be saved in sin, or even to think they are saved when they are having an outburst of anger or being intemperate. God loves us too much to lull us to sleep in our sins--and His love (the loveliness of Jesus) has the power to change hearts!

Similarly, I had a member in one of the congregations share her desire for this experience, to have all the fruits of the Spirit in the life--and it is a joy to be able to pray with and encourage God's people to come to the joy of full salvation! God is faithful.

All glory to God!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: "Follow the Lamb"
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2016, 08:31:41 AM »
Amen!  I think Satan works very hard to keep the truth away from us. If we all understood Jesus wants to give us love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, I wonder how many would continue to refuse it by continuing to resist His love? It is Jesus' desire to transform us.....today!   What a miracle!  He fulfilled His first part of the covenant made from the foundation of the earth. It remains with us to fulfill our part that He might fulfill the rest of His part of the "everlasting covenant". He will put enmity into our hearts, He will write His law upon our hearts, if we will let Him.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Nic Samojluk

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Re: "Follow the Lamb"
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2016, 12:01:54 PM »
Thank you, Pastor Sean, for sharing with us your personal spiritual experience. I can relate to some of the things you said because I lost two children--one to a car accident and another to a massive stroke. Nevertheless, the God did not abandon us. Praise the Lord!