Author Topic: Personal Testimonies  (Read 71155 times)

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Laurie Mosher

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« Reply #80 on: June 16, 2000, 06:32:00 PM »
Well! Br. Loryn, I have to tell you.....I had shivers going up my arms while reading that powerful testimony. Surely the angels and our Lord in heaven are pleased when hearing such amazing and wonderful stories of God's grace.
 Keep "the" faith, and NEVER GIVE UP!
   Br. Laurie

[This message has been edited by Laurie Mosher (edited 06-17-2000).]

Keep "the" Faith,  Brother Laurie

Gary K

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« Reply #81 on: June 16, 2000, 09:28:00 PM »
Hi Loryn,

Nice to see you here and see you expressing your love and appreciation for what God has done for and through you. Glad you came and took a look.

Gary K


Richard Myers

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« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2000, 12:41:00 PM »
Sister Joan, happy Sabbath, good to see you online again! You have missed the best forum. We encourage all to post their testimonies no matter where they have posted them. I can't imagine anyone objecting. This is why we are on this earth. Share with us, tell of His power in your life!  :)

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Laurie Mosher

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« Reply #83 on: June 17, 2000, 04:33:00 PM »
  Greetings Sister Joan! (Yes I am the "Bluenoser" from the other forum).

 We would all be blessed to hear your testimony on TRO.

It is a blessing to all who read of the wonderful things God has done AND IS DOING for His children.

  Our God is a wonderful God, and we, His children are privileged to be able to call him "Our Father"!

  Keep "the" faith!
Br. Laurie

Keep "the" Faith,  Brother Laurie

Gerry C. Wagoner

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« Reply #84 on: June 17, 2000, 07:21:00 PM »
Testimony:

I was raised in an Old German Baptist Brethren home, as were eight generations of my family before me.  I joined the church of my fathers in 1984, baptized in the chilly spring that flowed through my Uncle’s farm.  There was no heavenly phenomenon as I walked up out of the cold water, just the quiet realization that I was carrying the torch for yet another generation.  This was fully expected of me, and I began to fulfill my twentieth century Anabaptist role as best I could, relaxing in the approval of my peers.  Two and one half years went by.

In late 1986, a colorful brochure advertising a local Daniel & Revelation seminar showed up in the mailbox of a business partner. As we shared a meal with them that evening, Eric and I discussed the brochure.   Without knowing much about it, we committed ourselves to the opening night, along with the resolution that if it wasn’t good— we would not go back.    This we did quietly, knowing the suspicion our church had for anything outside it’s echelon.  And while I can’t speak for the rest of the audience that opening night, there were two German Baptist men riveted to their seats because of something powerful.  Jesus Christ had been lifted up and I found myself irresistibly drawn to him just as He had said it would be.

On the following Monday night we went back.  Early.  Got a good seat.  Night after night, I sat in that hall, while the Bible open itself to me under the supervision of the Holy Spirit.  And like the unnamed disciples on the Emmaues road, we said to each other   “Did not our hearts burn within us...as he opened the Scriptures to us?”   The fire burned on...   I attended all twenty-one of the remaining meetings even after circumstance prevented my partner from returning.  By the close of the seminar I had learned three serious truths:  The Bible is held together by extraordinary power.  That power is a person.  That Person is Jesus the Christ.  
   This was enough to occupy my mind for years.  However, I had also been brought face to face with certain truths of Jesus,  like the conditional immortality of the soul, the Judgment confronting everyone, the Everlasting Gospel, the Sabbath rest, and the panoramic view of redemptive history.   Before I could slam the Book, Dr. Pieter Barkhuizen had directed my attention clearly to these eternal truths, and like water from the well, all of them pointed to Jesus and His unbelievable love.  Now I had a problem.   Where had these truths been for eight generations?  “Where were you, Jesus?  I’ve never seen you this clearly before.”  I was shaken.  To the core.  Revelation Seminar indeed.  There had been a “revelation.”

So I did the only thing I could think of.  I got my bible out and began to study it carefully.  Maybe I’d missed something.  Eight generations can’t be wrong, so I resolved to disprove this new message that had shaken my foundation.  I would learn in the next two years of intensive study that if a pillar of faith topples in Bible study, it is a false pillar. Jesus doesn’t fail.  
   At the end of two years of research I had earned the suspicion of my wife who silently watched her well respected husband  quietly confirm a message he had set out to rebut.  The day was fast approaching when I would go from well respected to complete idiot in the eyes of my erstwhile friends, and family.   But now I had to admit that I was prisoner of the very message I was researching, and no prisoner was held tighter than I by the chains of conviction that had settled around my neck.  The best was yet to come.  Intellectual determination alone was not enough!  

Finally, it came to a head in 1988.  Amidst the confusion I felt over the pull of my heritage against the power of  the Advent message, I fell to my knees one night and prayed perhaps as I never had before...  “Father, please help me.  You alone know the struggle within me.  Take it out of my hands and lead me by Your will...”  That did it.    When morning broke, my life began to reveal a startling series of events as if guided by a giant hand.  God had heard...He had been listening.  Now He was guiding.  Gethsemane was close behind me.

I took step after step in the direction of the Advent Movement.  Unable to hide it longer, word broke out among my childhood peers.  Rumors about me went from Ohio to California.  In two weeks time I went from well respected to complete idiot in the opinions of my fellow church members.  Through it all I clung to the Scriptures as I now understood them and the One to whom they pointed.  Vaguely, I remember thinking in late 1988  “This should really bother me: to walk away from the kind of heritage that is mine.  I’m here to tell you -- it didn’t.  Nothing mattered - except doing the will of my heavenly Father.  Nothing.  
   Walking away from tradition of that depth is neither easy nor casually done, but for me it was the only road to peace.  I surrendered to God in late 1988 and the peace He brought still warms my heart.  Without the support of my wife I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church on 1-7-1989.  Once again, there was no divine appearance,  however the Scriptures that I loved as a boy are permanently fixed in my heart as the great guide to Jesus.  And that kind of treasure is indeed a heavenly phenomenon.  


Gerry C. Wagoner

(PS. My wife also joined the Advent Movement in late `89). Praise Him!


Laurie Mosher

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« Reply #85 on: June 18, 2000, 04:07:00 AM »
  Praise the Lord, Brother Wagoner! What a powerful testimony!
 Isn't our God WONDERFUL?

  My conversion experience was somewhat different. I was raised in a Christian home, my parents being SDA before I was born. Because of city influence, my parents moved to a remote rural community 30 miles from the nearest town and 90 miles away from the nearest city. Attending an organized  church happened about once every 5 years, so we were isolated members .
 There in a little rural community of Nova Scotia, I grew up. Being raised on a farm, we had the finer things in life..beans and potatoes, and potatoes and beans. I never missed a meal that I can recall, but the variety was limited. As my father had said, "being your own boss had its limitations."

  All my education was in the public school system, which for the most part in the 1950-60's could have been worse. Of course, Boy Scouts was out, as well as other "community activities" because of Sabbaths. But as community leaders later said, "We always knew where Oz's boys were", when there was questionable ruckus in town. Oz's boys were home whre they belonged.

  At the age of 18, I was baptized in the Atlantic Ocean at a camp meeting. No there were no flashing lights, or bells ringing, but what I do remember was that  one of my buddies invited me to a dance that very evening. R had been baptized with me that very afternoon. I didn't go, and R never attended church again.

  I then attended Oshawa Missionary College (now Kingsway) in Oshawa, Ontario and graduated from High School, attended college for 2 years, and then went on to take xray training at North York Branson Hospital, a wonderful SDA institution. (It has now closed).Beverly trained as a Registered Nurse there also, and the day after her graduation, we were married.
   We then moved to British Columbia, and I became chief technician of a small SDA hospital located on Vancouver Island-Rest Haven Hospital where we resided for nearly 3 years. While working on the lawns one day, I came down with a severe case of Asthma, which changed the course of my life.

  The treatment of Asthma in those days was broncho-dilators, and pills that made your head spin, and cause light-headedness, along with being drowsy nearly all the time. My Dr. suggested that I move to another climate, so back to college I went..this time in Alberta ,Can...Canadian Union College (CUC), and I will never forget what Elder Heimo Hegheson said one day when teaching "Life and Teachings of Jesus" (I majored in Religion):

"Laurie, IF YOU were the only person on this planet, Jesus would have died for you."

That "blew my mind". I went home a different person. This time the "bells rang, whistles blew", and life now had a real purpose. My goals changed, and now Bev's and my life became a life of service to others.

  Brothers and Sisters, when YOU find Jesus, don't ever look back. As I discovered, "we" can know all the doctrines, have all the right answers, eat healthy, etc., but if we don't have Jesus, we don't have anything!!!

   BUT, what I REALLY NEED IS TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.
Jesus Christ died because of my sins, and He wants me to acknowledge that without Him I have no hope.
  Is Jesus REAL to YOU? Only through the merits of the blood of Christ can any of us hope to have eternal life.

 My friends He is Coming Back to receive His subjects. Let us endeavor to belong to Jesus. Right now, Jesus is pleading with YOU and with me to get our act together for He's coming SOONER than we expect.

 Knowing ABOUT Him is NOT ENOUGH. We have to KNOW HIM PERSONALLY.
 Jesus Christ IN YOU, the HOPE OF GLORY (Colossians 1:27).

  Oh Lord, our Lord! How excellent thy Name is, How excellent is thy Name in all the earth!

 Dear Heavenly father! Thank You for the wonderful privilege we can have of being Your children. You have told us that we are Your sons and daughters (2 Cor.6:17). Father we just want to thank You and praise You for Your love and grace to each one.

  Father, please help us to "stand like a rock" in defense of Your truth. and as we go into these closing hours of earth's history, I just pray that Jesus Christ will become REAL to each and ALL of us, as we continue to give the 3 angel's messages to a dying world.

 Dear Father, may we "Keep the faith as it is in Jesus", and be ready when He comes again. This I ask through the Name of our Intercessor, Saviour, Redeemer and Friend,JESUS.. AMEN and AMEN.

 Brother Laurie

Keep "the" Faith,  Brother Laurie

Joan Rügemer

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« Reply #86 on: June 18, 2000, 08:41:00 AM »
Following is the first installment of Joan Rügemer's Testimony for God's miracles in her life.

    I get a warm sentimental feeling upon opening the green metal box taken from our bedroom closet. Among the treasured memories of documents there are also two Baptism certificates. One of them I hold in my hand and read it as a visual testimony to an unconscious event in my life. I was not consciously aware of making a commitment of my heart and soul to the living God as a baby at the age of one month. My christening baptism was to all points and purposes more an act of dedication. Yes, I would prefer to view it this way. My parents were dedicating me to God and thereby proclaiming they would be responsible to bring me up in the faith of our Church. And so it was. In the course of years I was indoctrinated into the teachings of 'The Church'.

   To reject or repute a teaching of The Church was tantamount almost to calling your own mother a whore. The Church and it's influence in my thinking was similar to the old fashion teaching methods when the school master told the kids dictatorish what they were to think and believe instead of leading them into situation experiences for them to gain their own insights.

   As I was much older and exercised accountability for my own thinking and commitments, I started to develop a more independent strong will of my own and was prepared to study other peoples point of view. I even dared to go outside 'The Church' to visit a youth meeting at the age of 15, being held in some lowly 'other' church. It was that moment of excitement being able to exercise my free will that kept my attention alert to what was going on up front. Someone stood and started reading from a large black book. It wasn't my choosing but I believe it was the choosing of God, at that moment something spiritual started happening.

   I had never heard this story before. This man read up to the part where the runaway son was going home to Pa with a really bad conscious. I then thought, Wow! ... this guy is really going to get it! ...and waited to hear how the father would rightly beat him and rub his nose in the dirt for having wasted all his inheritance money. But in that moment a miracle took place in my heart as to my astonishment I heard that the father, having seen him a long way off, told the servants to get a feast ready to eat high on the hog. I heard out of the reading from the book that the father hugged him, gave him a new covering, and a ring of some importance. He didnt scold him ( as odd and unexpected that was for me what with my earthly father being just the opposite of the one in question).

 Then came this telepathic type of communication in my head saying, "That is not a fairytale book (as I had been assuming up til then), it is the Bible and that is how God is". I was shook enough that tears flowed down as I sat there. I quickly composed myself but the message in my thoughts kept on repeating itself. 'God is a friendly God. He is not mad at you'. There was this sense in me saying that if I were to pray I would be walking toward God as a nice guy not to be afraid of. A God, who by approaching him is not mad with me. I had been confessing sin for years and years in my life. I know what penance is. I know what praying the 10 Hail Mary's and untold Lords Prayer for atonement means. But never did I believed it amounted to real forgiveness. There was always this area deep in me that made me feel I wasn't really making the grade before the great and mighty 'One' up there. I figured he was holding a sense of dissapointment toward me. But now I was becoming a conscious awareness of a fasinating unconditional forgiveness and acceptance He was offering me.

   A call to go forward was given for those who wanted to come and pray. Up I went. I was too choked up to pray. The man before me was sensitive enough to notice that and suggested that he should pray for me. I'm glad he did. No amount of talk and bible verses reading he gave me a remained consciously of worth for me at that time shortly afterwards. I had personally been confronted with the living God himself and was much to overwhelmed to think logically and couldn't pay attention to what he was on about.

   In the course of months I became active in a newly Chosen church fellowship different to what I had grown up in. After a few months I was asked if I would like to join the other Baptism candidates in the following week to be baptized. I was overwhelmed with what I saw in my 'quicker than the speed of light' inward spiritual check.I didn't trust myself. I was well aware of being a sinner. I wasn't going to commit myself to a holy God who expects me to lead a whole life with my present immature ambivalence wether or not what I had started in faith would pan out as being a way of life or not. As a I outwardly pressed my lips together I shook my head "no". Then they politely left me alone. I carried on in church fellowship.

   Singing in choir, taking part in Biblestudies on Wednesdays and real glad to be with the youth for social meetings twice a week. After one year I was asked again to join the baptism candidates. I felt free to say "Yes". Now why was it that I first said 'no' and then after a period of time I said 'yes'? It had to do with the values I carried in me at those time. By the first confrontation I quickly looked within myself and made assessment of who I was and what the value of Baptism was. 'Who' I was was in my eyes was pretty awful. Immature and incapable of being true to a serious commitment. I was convinced a Baptism is an open proclamation to an inward state of commitment. Faithfulness to an oath; to be true to a newly taken on set of values til death do you part. This is all that I saw at the time. My independableness opposing the seriousness of the Baptism ritual. After a year of church life and biblestudies, I was stable enough for what I considered a true commitment. Someone missed teaching me that I didn't need to make myself good enough in outward correct behavior to earn the right to be baptized. I just needed to confess my belief that Jesus Christ was the substitute Savior for my penalty that I deserved for having disregarded the Laws of God. Baptism is the outward sign of the new heart attitude given at the conversion of one's mindset about who Jesus is. Santification then carries on in the true converted one.  I could have been baptized sooner if I had understood that.    

   Baptism is then a public symbolic act in which I participated and showed thereby that as I went into the water I was going into a grave symbolically with my old selfish goals and acts. As I came up out of the water I was symbolically being raised to a new outlook in life. To a new purpose and aim in life. I was committed to let God be first in my life. I was committed to do His will.

   Now I hold in my hand the other Baptism certificate. I was 16 years old as I got it. It holds for me the same value as my Marriage certificate. An outward symbol of an inward decision. Look here, I can say pointing to the marriage paper, I have the right to bear my husbands name. That gives me witness to a legal status which is represented by this paper I can see and feel. Similarly with my Baptism certificate. With it I can show proof that there were witnesses to my symbolic death to another way of living, and to the raising up symbolicly from this water grave to the begining of living my life in a new way. I now have the name.... : Christian.

..........Joan............

SDA membership happening follows in next installment


Richard Myers

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« Reply #87 on: June 18, 2000, 12:27:00 PM »
Brothers and sisters, Jesus is real and the power of His grace is such that it transforms the motives of the human heart. Who can bring a clean out of an unclean thing? No one in and of himself, but the love of God can and does every day. As we read these personal testimonies of God's power to change lives please do not resist the drawing of Jesus upon your heart.

Don't stop with the reading of these testimonies, but rather learn of Jesus for in Him is this power of grace found. As Brother Laurie has shared, Jesus would have died for you alone. This is love. As Sister Joan has shared, do not wait until you have made yourself clean and respectable; it will never happen. Go to Jesus just as you are, today and give Him your heart.

Brother Gerry testified that the chains of tradition cannot hold one who is looking unto Jesus for truth. Make Jesus your pattern, feed upon the Word, study the life of Jesus and by beholding Him you will become changed into His image. Does He knock upon the door of your heart today? If so, let Him come in.

As you are contemplating His love and His call to you, listen to these words:

Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, And that thou bid'st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind, Yea, all I need, in Thee I find, O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come.

Today is the day of salvation. Say yes to Jesus! Let Him into your heart and He will give you peace and joy that can only come through Him. Your life will be His responsibility as you follow Him. You will never be sorry and you too, will have a testimony of His love and power.

Say "YES" to Jesus, "I want you more than anything in this world. Take my heart for I can't give it. I believe take away my unbelief."    

Lord Jesus please send your Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of those that are making a decision to serve you today. Reveal your great love for them. Give them "new hearts" that love as you love that they may be channels that may work through to reveal your love to others, we pray in Jesus precious name, amen.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dugald T Lewis MD

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« Reply #88 on: June 18, 2000, 08:29:00 PM »
I can only say Thank You Lord!! for the heart warming testimonies I have just read tonight as I haven't been here for a while. Jesus is real and as the Holy Spirit hovers around us a wind, we can only truly experience the power when we position our "sails" to facilitate the propelling force of the Holy Spirit's power in our lives.

Brother Loryn,Brother Gerry,Elder Crawford, Sister Joan and Brother Laurie you all make me feel like a billion dollars tonight.

TRO is a true blessing from the Lord. I wish that many more would come here to dip in the fountain and to truly taste and see that the Lord is good.

Thank you brother Richard for your vision and your committment.

I look forward to posting my testimony soon.

Sincerely
Dugad


Joan Rügemer

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« Reply #89 on: June 19, 2000, 12:58:00 PM »
(Second installment of how Joan got to Germany and became member of SDA)

Leaving America for England in was the revealed will of God for me. I was there three and half years. After a bit of private schooling and hospital working there I became the offer to work in Germany as Au Pair girl.  The father in the family was a low profile worker in an insurance company. The mother, in her thirties, had the face and body proportions of a Hollywood star. Having just opened up a boutique (most probably in her self-realization-phase) she wanted to shake off the old tethers of "just a housewife“ and had hired me for her two kids who were needing a 'watchdog' on the set of various commercials and film making projects . These two kids were mini-German movie stars in a film studio. Children are not allowed to work in film business without an accompanying adult on the set so this was a part of my job to be with them on set (nothing romantic, quiet boring for me at the time).

Living in the family was no lollipop licking. She worked me liked a dog.  A work tempo that the German 'master-race' really understands. I was treated civily and polite but the demands went beyond what the Au Pair policy states. Nevertheless I was formed over the year into a great cook and household organizer.  And when it comes to cleaning....wow...you'll never understand until you see it here in Germany what perfectionism is in clean and orderly houses. I was formed into a hard working pedandic cleaner and only in the last two years now of my life can I relax more and more to let my own house alone when dust is in the corner is, or a spill has left a spot.

I suffered a bit of loneliness as never before in my life. At the time I couln't speak German. This was totally against my nature not being able to talk like a waterfall as my custom was. Remember Jacob's hip-limp from the wrestling with the Angel being as a symbol for him in the breaking of his old carnal do-it-all-in your-own-strength nature? That exactly was happening to me at the time. It was hard to live with this woman's strict hard ways. It was hard for me to live in a secular Catholic family. And another real problem was nagging me. I had no Church contact. I knew no real Christian. I had been active in the Baptist church in America. Back then I was loved and wanted and 'somebody' in my former American circles.


But in Germany at that time I was a coal out of the fire, a branch broken off from the tree, a fish out of water, a sailor living inland away from the sea.  I was a 'nobody'. In other words I was a born-again Christian separated from fellowship with no useful profile. I was practicing no liturgy, no rituals. I had no Mission project, no prayer partner. I found little comfort in reading my bible. I could only pray. And all my prayers seemed to centered around 'me'. 'Help me, Help me' I kept crying up to Jesus. This life’s situation came to me as being so very strange. So very unusual for me not to have a group of people to boss around (patients in my hospital jobs) or to be giving advice or comfort (i.e to church members) or using and manipulating people for selfish ends. No, now God had me in a vice and He was really showing me what it meant to be subordinate and humble. He was really teaching me patience in waiting for the timing of the answers to my prayers according to His will.


Knowing that the will of The Lord was for me to remain in Germany for the rest of my life, the was this third big nagging problem besides getting the language learned and finding a church where I would be able to worship in truth, see the Lord clearly and to have a healthy social life... it was something else very crucial. I knew I needed to be led to an environment where my future
husband was to be found.

A church environment, Christian friends,  a public job offering me independence from where I was as Au Pair and the right to permanent working papers in Germany, plus meeting the future husband, yes, these were all the problems I kept rolling around and around the throne of God like a Tibetan prayer wheel.

How they were answered I will try to tell you in the next installment  
Joan

[This message has been edited by Joan Rügemer (edited 06-04-2003).]


Joan Rügemer

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« Reply #90 on: June 22, 2000, 02:44:00 AM »
 (Third installment of how Joan became SDA)
 
 Now I was praying constantly for my release from being so lonely amongst worldly people what with not having any Christian contacts. I wasn't at that stage of maturity of being the missionary type who braves it all and lives from a warmth of spirituality deep down inside. I was just too civilization damaged.

  I had the good blessing of finding another Catholic family who took me on as an Au pair to look after their house and kids. When gathering the mail one morning for this nice new family I was working for, I noticed a colorful postcard size bit of advertisement. Contrary to my standard of respect for the privacy of the property of others, I started to read what was written. It was a series of lectures daily for four weeks being presented by the Seventh Day Adventists. I wrote down their given telephone number with the purpose of asking if the Adventists here were affiliated with the same SDA organization I knew about in Arizona.

  Later on in the afternoon, standing before the phone, I pondered if the person would be able to understand my English. I was in the last weeks of a six month block of German language night-school from Berlitz which had helped my passive understanding immensely, but my active use of German was still at elementary level. Instead I decided to attend at lest one lecture instead of phoning, with the test that if only one person could speak to me in English from that public meeting and thereby express his love for the Lord I would go back again the next night. (prejudice lingered in the back of my mind that SDA were doing good works to earn Salvation). That was my first 'Gideon's fleece'. The second part of the test was that if on the second night someone would convince me through a testimony that the Holy Spirit of God works among the Adventists to produce a born-again new creature in Christ, then I was willing to keep on coming back. That was the deal I made with Jesus in prayer about the matter.

  What was quite nice about the whole plan was that the meetings took place only a walk of eight minutes from where I lived. Anyway my language class had come to a close in the city so I started to attend the evening Adventist meetings around the corner to where I lived.

  The Minister was Helmut Haubeil. A lovely gentleman with a lovely Christen spirit who had had enough grips to learned English in the simple mode. The assistant minister was a charismatic type five years younger than me who spoke to me in excellent English. They both assured me that their main interest was to lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Each evening after the short lecture a Moody Bible Institute film was shown. Now that capped my doubts completely that this was not some sect. So I started to attend all meetings and also, after a month, the public biblestudies which were held in the local SDA church.

  Then came a test of faith. Near to the end of the time of evangelistic lectures, I was told by the family I worked for as Au pair, that a cousin was coming to live with them and they didn’t have need of my services anymore. I went with a heavy heart to the meeting in the evening. My days were numbered. If I didn’t get a job and another place to stay soon I would have to leave the country because my residence permit was running out. It would only be renewed if I had a place of employment.


 ------Joan-----

[This message has been edited by Joan Rügemer (edited 06-04-2003).]


LindaRS

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« Reply #91 on: June 22, 2000, 02:17:00 PM »
When does a testimony get too old to be of value?  Hopefully, never.  In the early 80's I was a young wife and mother with two children and a life in shambles.  I had been born and raised in and Adventist home.  When I was 3 years old, living on the west coast, my father went to work one day and never came home again.  From that time on he was never a part of my life except on the extreme edges.  That wasn't my decision, but his.  I think, that in the years since then, he has had time to regret that decision.  His actions forced my mother to relocate back east to her parents in order to raise my sister and myself.  She did her best, but being a single mom in the 50's and 60's was very difficult, especially if you were undereducated as many women were.  There was no system in place to force deadbeat fathers to pay up, and mine certainly didn't.  Still, mom was able to realize her dream to be a nurse when she became an LPN while I was in my teens.  She retired from the field several years ago.

I finished high school, (I actually spent my senior year in academy) took the same LPN course my mother had taken, and went to work.  I worked for about a year then got fired from that job.  Looking back 30 years, I know that it was providential.  I had done nothing to deserve losing my job for, though I was told it was for insubordination.  The same nursing director who fired me then gave me a good recommendation that gave me a job at Madison Hospital, an Adventist hospital in Tennessee.  Poor mom.  In a two week period that summer she watched her oldest daughter pack and move to Tennessee and her other daughter head for Vienna, Austria to study music.  I guess it is little wonder that she applied for and took a job at Madison a few months later.  But I wasn't very happy at the time when she moved in with me.  I was just learning to be on my own and wanted to keep it that way.

The next summer, I left for Wildwood where I spent two years.  When I left there it was with both good and bad memories.  Needless to say, no institution is without problems.  At my young age, I guess I was looking for perfection and was greatly disappointed when I didn't find it.  However my time there would have a major impact on the rest of my life.  That is where I met Ed but it definitely not love at first sight or even second.  :o  No such thing as dating was allowed there which wouldn't have done me much good anyway.  Ed never had the foggiest notion that I was interested in him until someone put a bug in his ear a few months after we had left and gone in separate directions.  Ed still likes to tell people how he told people that he would NEVER
1)   marry a redhead
2)   live in Tennessee
3)   live in Alabama.

He never says never anymore, since he married this redhead, and has lived in both states.  I had returned to Tennessee when I left Wildwood and that is where Ed came calling some months later.  We married that summer.  This July we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  That is just the beginning of the story.

---------------Part one---------------

Linda

[This message has been edited by Linda Sutton (edited 06-22-2000).]

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jeremiah  10:23-24

Paul

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« Reply #92 on: June 23, 2000, 03:09:00 AM »
Gerry, I learnt about a great word laely that I hink will appy to a lot of the testimonies here. WOW!!! [i'll even say it backwards] WOW!!!

Praise God for the light in each of our lives. Praise God for the TRUTH and different testimonies he has given us. [mine is already here so don't ask. I am Mr Jones] I can only humbly say amen. All glory to God for the many miracles I have read here. Lemme share a qoute SC from that I found just recently. Actually I found it a long time ago. It is found on page 21
"Oh, let us contemplate the amazing sacrifice that has been made for us! Let us try to appreciate the labor and energy that Heaven is expending to RECLAIM the lost, and BRING THEM BACK to the Father's home."

I hope you noticed the words I had in capital letters. God has not gone away from us. We are the ones who keep leaving Him. [I talk from experience sadly] Why do WE make it so difficult for God. WHy do we make life such a trial. Oh, that we would look to Jesus and se the sacrifice He made for us. I would drop everything I had if I saw for one fleeting SECOND the pain God has gone through for us. Oh, what a mission God has give us. Thank you all for your GREAT testimonies. All praises to God for bringing each of us home again. Let's bring more home now.

------------------
"WATCH THE LAMB"


Joan Rügemer

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« Reply #93 on: June 23, 2000, 09:10:00 AM »

(last installment )

At the SDA lecture meetings I tried hard every evening to figure out what was being said, still I’d missed an awful lot because of inadequate language skills.  Now with hinsight I acknowledge the working of the Spirit of God for my understanding that one special evening by the SDA meetings. Something happened that evening so that I was able to understand the message clearly. My faith was so hightened enough that when he began to ask the audience if there were those present wanting to request special prayer, I raised my hand. It wasn’t actually an altar call as we Americans know it but it was more or less a German way of getting the people open to letting God in on their needs. I raised my hand with a few others and Brother Haubeil prayed for us publicly. Afterwards, I can’t recall how it happened, but he found out that I was having personal existance problems. Two nights later he approached me and gave me the address of a Firm making  detectors for radioactivity.  And that was it ! I was accepted after the interview and had a job. Heaven had sent me a "son" beam. I was accepted, worked one week more with the family, then left after having found a furnished room in an apartment house, and walked into the warm rays of independence.

Speak about answered prayer !!  I was a doofus wasting my time worrying. The whole laws of the Kingdom have to do with patiently waiting on His revealed plan for one. My emotions get stirred up when I worry that 'my' will won't get done. And that 'my' will won't get done in the time I set for it to get done in. Then comes all sorts of negative emotional states of being. Thank you Jesus for the hidden message of 'relaxing' in the trust we put in you. You are Sovereign and know what needs to get down at what time.

I visited the youth group of the Adventist church and was I ever flabbergasted!! Not one of the young students in my age bracket gave any indication of being a born-again-new-creature-in-Christ experience. I could never team-up in deep friendship with someone who didn’t have Jesus as the center of his life. Finding a future partner in the SDA church seemed out of the question at the time.I started visiting on Sundays the Evangelical Alliance church for fellowshipping with young adults among whom were a good handful of them who had come out of the worldly ways, been converted to Jesus with true Holy Spirit touch in their lives, and with whom I could better communicate than the closed SDA religious clique of narrowmindedness I found with the group of SDA's.


So then came the two years of....
1)....going to the SDA meetings on Saturday 2).....after having gone to SDA prayer meeting on Friday evening
3)....and visiting the SDA youth meetings on Wednsday evenings.
But the flip of the coin was that ...
4).... I was attending this Alliance church (very suspicious of SDA sectarians) on Sundays
5)......and their young people's meetings on Tuesday evenings. Consequently two years long.
I went on week-end retreats with the Alliance youth in different parts of south Germany. I went on youth week-ends in the Alps with SDA youth as well. Weekly was only Monday after work free for me because on Thursday evenings came the Haubeil for his private campaign for getting me to sign up as SDA Church member.
 
I was figuring constantly the advantages of joining either one or the other church. There were three key experiences which swayed me to make the decision I choose. H. Haubeil got to getting quite firm about what proper commitment to the will of God means. He stopped beating around the bush as he presented me with the possibility of me being in rebellion to the will of God when I dishonor the fourth commandment as GOD WANTS US TO INTERPRET IT.  Such an attitude results in grieving the Holy Spirit that had seal me as a child of God already. I didn't want to grieve the one I loved. I didn't want to displease Him and go my own way like Cain...thinking that the offering I was bringing was good enough to please God. But being wrong in my assumption. Innocence doesn't protect the guilty. I knew already since a kid that Saturday is the weekly Sabbath of the Lord given to His people.

I knew during the first part of my Christian active life that the crowd of Protestant believers I moved along in called the first day of the week the New Testament's Lord's day. It being honored in rememberance of the resurrection from the dead as proof that Jesus's offering was accepted by God the father. It should be a day of not only remembrance but of joy and rejoicing. No shackles of do's and don't but no going after the rat-race of earning your keep or heavy labor. I kept telling Haubeil that if the keeping of the Restday of Saturday was so important for honoring Him, He would have protected the fourth commandment and he wouldn't have let it go over into a decree for Sunday worship as the great Constantine did without a group protesting. Ahhhh...then I got a history lesson of how Sabath honoring believers fared in the past. So now I knew it didn't all start again with EGW and her vision.

It was a spiritual key experience for me as I grew to realize that God wants us to honor his commandments as He gave them without putting a time element on them. Innvalidation to a godly command comes into effect only on those commands acting as a vorshadow of Christ's life, death and resurrection. When type meets anti-type, the valid substance takes precedence.

The second key experience was one Sunday morning I was getting ready for church and listening to a radio program offering me free bible studies to be sent to my home. I got to filling them out, sending them in, writing questions to the mentor, getting good answers back. That went on a few months. One lesson came all about the Sabbath. Wow, I thought. This writer says the same things that Haubeil has been teaching me about the Sabbath. After completing the series I was sent a certificate of attendance to their home Bible School. The whole time I had been getting it in my own English language (sent from England) bible studies from the Voice of Prophecy. I was proud of my accomplishment and showed Haubeil my certificate. He grinned ever so widely. Being real cool he told me that the institute belongs to the SDA's. I was wowed-out!! I had no idea !

The third key experience was me sharing all the things I was learning from my SDA church meetings and readings to Alfred, my best friend at the Alliance church. He in turned talked about them to the Pastor of the Alliance church who in turned tried to coax him away from having anything to do with me. The feeling of not being warmly accepted by the pastor (believing I was being duped by a cult) didn't bother me at the time. But after he preached on the 10 virgins as the five wise being true Christians and the five unprepared as being non-Christian worldly ones I just couldn't let that pass. I told Alfie that the proper interpretation of the text was clearly the mind of Christ in the parable as the SDA's presented it. The Parable of the 10 all being believers waiting for the Bridegroom but the ones not filled with the spirit of God in readiness won't get into the feast. So true to form Alfie went later and told the Pastor what I said. He in turn got really angry and told Alfred that I was dangerous in prattling ideas from a sect and had no idea what exegesis really was. Alfie in turn got really put off with him not being approachable or teachable and willing to test the bible from another viewpoint but instead stayed with his emotional stubborness. He then told me how mad the Pastor was with me.

I in turned stopped going to the Alliance church and joined the SDA's.    

Alfred finished University and left the big city  for a year of teaching practice in a small town. He didn't want to attend the Lutheran church there (there wasn't any Alliance church in the town) and wouldn't go to a Catholic church anymore so he accepted my suggestion and visited the SDA church in the town (Besides JW's there wasn't anything else). After a year with private bible studies he joined the Church. He then asked me to marry him.

We have now been members of the Seventh-day Adventists since 1977.

...that's it for now folks...thank you for mentally listening. May the Lord bless you with his miracle producing power in your life as he has in mine.  

~~~~~~~~~** from the Joan ** ~~~~~~~~~

[This message has been edited by Joan Rügemer (edited 06-04-2003).]


loryn

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« Reply #94 on: June 24, 2000, 11:34:00 AM »
When is a testimony too old? When it is not being renewed by current experiences with God.

loryn

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« Reply #95 on: June 24, 2000, 11:58:00 AM »
Dark Times

I’m experiencing a dark time now. A time when I seem distant from God. Moody. Adrift and not knowing why I am feeling the way I do. I have experienced emotional closeness with God, my Daddy Who loves me. And this darkness feels dreadful.

So many have been inspired by my amazing conversion story. The power of God working in my life has been unmistakable. Yet I do not want to deceive you about the experience of a converted Christian. I live through dark times too.

Being a Christian doesn’t stop human emotions. Christians still hurt. We still feel upset and alone. We still feel under pressure, annoyed, adrift and alone in the world—from time to time.

The swings of human emotion weren't suddenly suspended on the side of ecstasy when I became a Christian. Now, as before, I experience dark times. The difference is that now I can pour out my feelings to God, my Daddy. I cry out at night before I sleep, “Daddy, I am hurting. I’m feeling pain over XYZ. I feel lonely. I feel cut off from You. I know you love me. Daddy. Daddy, hold me close. Please let me experience closeness again with You. Daddy, thank You for loving me.”

Or sometimes, I just cry out, “Daddy, Daddy, why? What’s wrong? I love You. Hold me close.”

I still ache. But I have hope. Hope. Hope that I can grow and learn through this experience. Hope because I know I am still accepted by One Who loves me above anything else. Hope that I can again experience an ecstatic, joyful moment with my Daddy who loves me.

I am glad to say that my Daddy is just as real in the dark times as He is in the bright ones.

[This message has been edited by loryn (edited 06-24-2000).]


loryn

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« Reply #96 on: June 24, 2000, 12:08:00 PM »
I just wanted to let everyone who reads this thread know that a Christians' testimony is extended every week. Every experience lengthens our testimony about our relationship with God. Not all experiences are upbeat. Some are decidedly heart-breaking. Some experience the adriftness that I'm experienceing now. But it is all good and proper material for sharing our testimony.

Not all testimony material uplift. Some material evokes empathy, forgiveness, warmth, care.

We are not automatic joy machines. Not all the fruits of the spirit are present all the time. But I am grateful that at least some fruits are present all the time. There is at least hope during the dark times.


LindaRS

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« Reply #97 on: June 24, 2000, 02:25:00 PM »
There have been a lot of ups and downs in the past quarter century. We became the parents of a son, then a daughter. We moved numerous times, living all over the southern US, finally settling in Alabama for several years. Both of us went to college, though at different times. As anyone who has ever done it can testify, raising a family and going to college is demanding on marriage, finances, and family. It was while Ed was in college that our lives nosedived. The problems mounted and I sank into a depression. I began to view God as someone way up there and I was way down here and if He cared so much why was my life such a mess?! My solution was to walk away from the church. I wanted to be free of restrictions that seemed to hang over me like a boulder just waiting to drop on my head. There didn't seem to be one person, at least in the church, who cared what was happening to me or my family, or who offered viable solutions to our problems.
We had started our son in the local church school, but he was not doing well. I can still remember the day he came home from school, pounding his fist on his head, saying, "I'm stupid, I'm stupid. I'm going to kill myself." He was only 8 and in the second grade. Two very terrified parents headed for the local mental health clinic to find a counselor. It turned out that he was being made fun of at school by his classmates (many the children of the church board members that I would soon face) because he was having trouble learning. I went to the principal begging him to get my son tested (it could have been done through the public school system), but, I realize now, he was as burned out on teaching as I was on nursing, and he wouldn't do anything. My son was enrolled in the local public school the next year who promptly tested him, found him dyslexic, and put him in the appropriate classes. He made excellent progress, but the damage was done. He never again liked school, and quit at 16. He did find out quickly that he couldn't get anywhere without a HS diploma and got his GED, then went on to diesel mechanics schooling.

My husband had gone to our church and asked for some financial help because we were in such a tight bind. In order to receive any help we were required to submit to questioning by the church board, a board made up of the proverbial doctors, lawyers, merchants, and chiefs, most of whom I was at least familiar with, having worked with some of them at the hospital. I have never completely forgotten that ordeal or the humiliation that I went through. I felt that I was raked over the coals by that board. They wanted to know why I didn't go back to school and become an RN. By then I was burned out and sick of nursing and wanted to do something else, yet they seemed to infer that something was wrong with me for not wanting to become an RN. That appearance before that church board was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I went to church one more time, then I quit. I hold no grudges against those men (it was mostly men). I think they were so far removed from our particular plight they couldn't understand that discussing whether or not I became an RN was the farthest thing from my mind and worries. I had far more pressing concerns.

There were a few small efforts to draw us back by a couple of families, but I guess it was too little too late. They soon gave up. There is a lesson to be drawn from this. We don't always know just what someone else is going through, especially mentally and emotionally. We give up too easily if we don't see progress quickly to our efforts. We assume that they just don't want our help and we leave them alone. When someone is way down, and they feel like everything and everyone is against them, it takes more than an invitation for dinner and a coupon for a free portrait to show them the love of Jesus. No one ever came and asked me about my spiritual condition. No one ever tried to point us to the One who can heal all our diseases, sooth all our sorrows, cleanse all our wounds, and forgive all our sins. I needed to know that God was still hearing and answering, because I felt that He was so far away from me. I would have probably repulsed initial overtures of spiritual help at that point, but would have responded eventually. However those overtures never came. Brothers and sisters, that is why we cannot give up when we see people who are slipping away from the church. That is why we must have patience. Most of those who leave the Adventist church do not leave for theological reasons, but because they are hurting from one or more of a multitude of causes. We must show them God's love and point them to the only solution to their problems.

Linda

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jeremiah  10:23-24

LindaRS

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« Reply #98 on: June 24, 2000, 02:31:00 PM »
For the next six years we were out of the church. We were gone, we didn't even darken the doors. We moved twice, living in two different states, yet we were not contacted even once, nor were our names removed from the church books. Religious things were not part of our everyday conversation, but the strange thing was, we kept to the law of clean and unclean foods, we rejected alcohol, but breaking the Sabbath was no problem. We did it every week. If people asked me about a religious affiliation, I would say I had none. I would get upset with Ed if he told people we were Adventist, and assure those asking that we no longer practiced it. I couldn't claim to be something that I was not doing. God didn't forget about us, though we forgot about Him. I had taken our SOP library and our Bibles and packed them in boxes. My reasoning: if I ever came back to the church, I knew that we couldn't afford to replace all those books. So for six years we carted then around and stored them wherever we moved.
Things reached a climax between Ed and myself and we separated. I went to live with my mother and took the kids. (That was the only time during the years we were out that I went to church. I went less than half a dozen times.) I made sure that Ed talked to the kids frequently and saw them every other weekend. Even if my marriage was in a mess, I didn't want my kids to be cut off from their father as I was. We stayed separated for six months, then decided that we would rather try to work things out. We got back together which made the kids glad. We went back to marriage counseling (for the umpteenth time) which helped some. I had also seen doctors for problems I was having and was given prescriptions for antidepressants.

I had a terrible experience with one of them. It was about the time that I was finishing the prescription for Prozac that something frightening began to happen to me. I started having terrible thoughts of doing away with my family. It was like there were two voices in my head, one telling me to do the terrible deed, and another voice telling me that was not what I wanted to do, that it was irrational. It was so bad, that my son picked up an ax one day to defend himself because he thought I was coming after him. (I wasn't.) He was just 12 at the time. That scared me. Those episodes finally faded away. I did not know at the time what had brought them on. It was nearly two years later while watching an episode of Nightline about Prozac that I found out what had caused those terrifying weeks for my family and me. Today I warn people about Prozac, telling them not to take it. It is a dangerous drug. It may not affect everyone the way it affected me, but why take such a chance? Later I would come to realize that it must have opened a door into my mind that allowed Satan a wider entrance than he normally has, and he was putting those horrifying thoughts into my mind. But even then, God did not forget me, and He sent an angel to counteract the work of the devil. Today I am grateful that while I forgot God, He never forgot me and even cared for me when I didn't ask Him to, even when I tried to forget Him. Surely, there is no one who understands like Jesus. He has indeed been touched with the feeling of our infirmities.

We had hoped to move to Florida and had been job hunting there, but nothing came of the interviews that Ed went on. The only thing that opened up was a job in Mobile, AL so that is where we moved. We moved into a house about 6 miles from the ocean in a suburb of Mobile. It was there that my children, the oldest a teen, began asking questions. Questions that required Bible answers. I went to those boxes that we had been moving with us for six years and dug out my Bible. The covers were green with mold. After cleaning the Bible, I opened it for the first time in all those years and answered their questions. But I still had no desire to return to church. But God had only started to work. Other things would soon be working our hearts and minds.

It was 1990 and there were rumblings in the Middle East. Kuwait had been invaded by Iraq and President Bush was talking about a "new world order." My ears perked up and my mind began to go back to the prophecies that I had learned all those years that I was growing up. Things were clicking and there must have been a lot of angels whispering in my ear as well as the Holy Spirit. The more I read and saw, the more disturbed I became. One afternoon, while Ed and I were eating in a local fast food restaurant, we discussed what was happening. I was choking back tears as I told him that I believed that it was the beginning of the final events for this world. I still believe that. Nothing like this drawing together of the nations had ever happened before in history, not even in the world wars. More than that, I knew that I was not ready for Jesus to come, and I realized that I didn't really want to burn in the lake of fire. I didn't really know what Ed felt, but I knew what was going on in my mind. God was about to speak to me in a way that I would not be able to mistake.

Linda

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jeremiah  10:23-24

Richard Myers

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« Reply #99 on: June 24, 2000, 05:19:00 PM »
Praise Jesus for the power of His grace!

Brother Loryn, your testimony of what God has done for you in the past will always move the hearts of those that are open to the Lord's leading and there is no one that will be more influenced than yourself. Even if I am not walking with the Lord today, what He has done for me in the past is a revelation of His grace more so than all of the Bible accounts. This personal revelation of God's grace is most important.

I agree that without a testimony today, we are in danger of being deceived regarding our condition.

Heavenly Father, we ask you to encourage our brother in this dark day. Reveal yourself in a manner that will push back the dark clouds and lift Brother Loryn above the darkness of this world. Lead him to someone who wants to know of your love, I pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.