Blog


11Aug

Dana Repetti, grew up in a dysfunctional home filled with hate, fear, alcohol, abuse, and witchcraft. Her childhood caused her to have overwhelming fear, and she became a people-pleaser with a very low self-esteem. At the age of seventeen, Dana had her first abortion. Through it all though, Dana, has learned about the beauty of God's love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. She is now helping others to do the same and has written a wonderful personalized devotional called "Being Immersed in the Father's Love".

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  (Psalms 27:13)

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  (Romans 8:1)


Dana RepettiDana Repetti

I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. I was a very depressed child and full of fear. My perspective on life and how I processed life was through a very negative lens and filter. Even though I was saved at the tender age of twelve, there were a whole host of strongholds that I would have to take captive to the obedience of Christ throughout my lifetime.


When I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my mom prayed that the memory of what I had endured as a child would be wiped clean. That all I would remember was from Salvation onward. I must confess I only have glimpses of my childhood.


What I do remember is that my dad was a very angry man. He was very scary to me when he got upset. Growing up in my house there was a saying, “Children were to be seen and not heard!” and I never felt as if my opinion mattered, or that I had a voice. My self-esteem was very low. I really did not know how to think for myself. I was very much a people pleaser. As long as I did everything right, I was a good girl, but if I did something wrong or that appeared wrong, I would pay the consequence. As a little girl, it felt as if it was the end of the world. I always wanted to do everything right. This perception would carry on well into my thirties. It would take a very long time to find my voice and for God to bring me into what His thoughts were towards me and what His word says about me.


My mom was a very depressed mother and wife. I always had the feeling that she hated me. When I would look into her eyes, they appeared very dark and I saw such hatred. It felt as if she wanted to kill me. I’m sure that was not the case, but it was how I felt during those years of my life. I hated going to sleep for fear that in the middle of the night; something or someone would come in my room and hurt me. I would sleep with the covers up to my neck; face the door so I would be able to protect myself, still totally frightened. It felt as if I never slept. This went on from the age of five, until I was twelve.


My mother dabbled in the occult. She would have séances, levitate, have premonitions, consult palm readers, psychics, read tarot cards and play the Ouija board. There was a lot of demonic activity in our home to say the least. She also was an alcoholic and was suicidal. I would come home from school and find her at the bottom of the basement stairs blacked out, not knowing if she was dead or alive. I remember being afraid all the time not knowing what the next day would bring.


My parents would argue and fight, which seemed like all the time to me. It was very intense and very loud. There were so many sayings in my family growing up like; we’re loud, we’re Italian, that’s how we talk, if the truth hurts, each followed by very negative, outspoken comments. No! All of which consisted of arguing and verbal abuse, yet while not understanding that as a child and living through it. I thought that was normal. There was one time my father came home from work and found my mother sitting on the floor in the corner of their bedroom, in the dark with a scotch glass in her hand. She was drunk and they began to argue. This argument must have been so intense because it is etched into my memory. My mom threw the full scotch glass at my father. I ran to my room like so many other times and would pray that God would make it stop, that they would not get divorced. I was always so frightened and living on the edge. I did not realize at the time that I was a depressed little girl as well.


I was raised as a Catholic while growing up and went to a Catholic school. Very often before heading to school, my mom would play a song from Helen Reddy, “I am woman”, and she proceeded to tell my sister and I, never to forget that we were women. There was one day my mom was so angry, I can’t remember why, but she told me she hated me and to go, get out of the house and go off to school. I remember feeling devastated. My fears of her hating me were becoming true. I was so broken that I hated the day I was born. I remember saying to God, “why, why was I born into this family. I wish I had never been born.” Sad I know. Around this time in my life, I was in a store and I saw a keychain with a witch on it. So I purchased it and I gave it to my mother and said, “This is who you are to me” and sang her a song called Witchy Woman. After I told her again saying, “This is who you are to me!” She said,”I know.” and proceeded to hang it on the knob of the kitchen cabinet. So there it stayed.


As I stated earlier, I don’t have a lot of memory of my childhood, but I remember feeling very dirty whenever my dad would hug me. As a little girl, I remember finding Playboy magazine’s under his bed on his side. For some reason, I always was able to relate to someone who was sexually abused. I only have glimpses of certain things and questions as to why I would feel so hated during those years. Before my dad passed away in 2010, I felt impressed by God to speak to my dad and released him from any torment he might be going through, from guilt of the past. I was so nervous, but I knew it was something I had to do. My dad had leukemia and meningitis to the point that it affected his brain. In the past, if I would have brought this up, he would have been on the defense and reacted angrily. Instead, he allowed me to share all my questions and concerns. I told him that God wanted me to come to him so he could be released of anything that may have taken place in the past that if anything did occur, I had forgiven him. It was the most loving and freeing time I had ever had with my dad. He had no such memories. I am sharing this to show the goodness God has to tend to the issues of our hearts. He took care of my father’s heart as well as mine. I watched God be faithful to His word in Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” My dad went to be with the Lord two weeks after my visit. Gods timing and ways are perfect. I have learned to trust and obey Him even when it’s scary.


At the age of ten, I was about to make my first communion. I always loved God. He placed within me a heart that loved Him and always wanted to help people despite what I was living through. The night before I was to make my first communion, I prayed that God would allow me to die in a car accident. I thought if I died on my communion day, then I would go straight to heaven and would not have to go to purgatory. My understanding was that people had to pray you out of purgatory; after all...my mother was a drunk and she hated me, while my dad only went to church on Christmas and Easter. In my mind, I would be stuck in purgatory forever and never make it to heaven. I prayed and prayed and was so disappointed when it did not happen.


Two years later, I am now twelve years old. My mom made the decision that she is going to take her life. She said that she had such a sense of peace in making this decision, and we were all better off without her. That day, God interrupted with His divine appointment. She was in a store that morning and she ran into a cousin of hers that just moved into the area we were living. Being polite, my mom invited her over for a cup of coffee. Her cousin had given her heart to the Lord and was a born-again Christian. She began to share with my mother about how much Jesus loved and cared for her and how He died to take away her sins and redeem her life. The whole time her cousin was talking, she thought she was crazy, while she knew the plan she had in her head to take her life. As her cousin was leaving, she said to my mom, “Marge, Jesus loves you. He truly does. Just give Him a try, ask Him into your heart and to forgive you your sins.”


That evening, my mother could not get out of her mind what her cousin shared with her earlier that day. She cried out to the Lord and said, “Ok Jesus, if you’re real like Alice says you’re real, I ask that you forgive me of all my sins and come live in my heart.” She began to feel a hand go over her mouth trying to suffocate her. During this struggle, she kept hearing her cousin’s voice in her mind saying, “say Jesus is Lord!” She began to scream in her head, “Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord!” At the end of the struggle, she saw in her mind’s eye a vision of Jesus with His arms wide open saying, “Marge, come to me. You’re my child.” The next day, my mom poured out all the alcohol we had in our house (we had a fully stocked bar) and threw away her cigarettes as well. My father thought my mother had a nervous breakdown and he was very angry. After all, that was a lot of money to throw down the drain. My mom’s old man (spirit) died that night and she became a new creation. The power of sin and death over my mother was destroyed that evening, through the blood of Jesus Christ. My mom went to her cousin’s house the next morning, banging on the door saying, “What did you do to me?” Her cousin began having bible studies with her, praying and taking her to church. One night after my mom got home from church, my father put my mother up against the wall and said, “It’s Jesus or me!” my mom said, “It’s Jesus” and he let go of her. So now we are going to check out this church my mother is going to, making sure she is not involved in a cult. My dad would say,”I was born a Catholic, I will die a Catholic.”


In July of 1974, a Friday evening, we visited the church my mother was attending on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. I was amazed by the love, joy and peace these people had. I wanted what these people had. I asked my mother if I could go to the altar and receive Jesus in my heart. At first, she said “no”, nervous of what my father might do. My father would not think twice about hitting someone if he felt like they were bothering him or his family. He grew up fighting people his whole life. I asked again and this time my mom said “yes.” As I went up, a young man asked me if I wanted to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I responded yes!


Well, my dad was furious. He went up to the altar to grab me away from these crazy people and when he went to grab me, I immediately got filled with the Holy Spirit and he fell. My father tried again twice to get me and each time he kept falling down. He would look around, but there was nobody there. God was trying to get his attention, and that He did. My father gave his heart to the Lord that evening as well. God is amazing.


The Lord answered my prayer that evening. When I was ten, I wanted to die and go to heaven, fearful of being in purgatory. Two years later, my old man (spirit) died when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was forgiven, redeemed and had the promise of eternal life. I no longer worried about not making it to heaven.


I continued to live in joy and happiness like I never experienced before. Things were so much more hopeful and peaceful. I would attend church every time the doors were opened. I was involved in Sunday school and went on to eventually teach the two-to-four year olds who attended. I was also, involved in a youth group and helped with VBS. Life was good.


Then at the magical age of fifteen, this young man liked me. I was so flattered. He was four years older than me and on the worship team. He asked me out to the church’s Valentine’s dinner. The only problem was, I wasn’t allowed to date until the age of sixteen and I was only fifteen and a half. So I did what any teenager would do; I pleaded my cause. What magically happens in six months? After all, I will be sixteen! He’s on the worship team! I wore them down and they gave in. This would be the beginning of compromise entering my life. Slowly he became my everything. I lived to please him. In April of 1980, in my senior year of high school and at the age of seventeen, I became pregnant. I was full of fear and wanted to marry him and have the baby. We were both terrified of what my parents might do. He said my parents would kill us. So the spirit of fear drove us to make the horrible decision to have an abortion. I truly wanted to be married and have this baby. While we drove up to the abortion clinic, there were people with signs outside and one especially, stood out to me, “Mommy, don’t kill your baby”. I was sick. I wanted to die. I wanted to run from this place and I really wanted to be married and have the baby, but fear had the loudest say. This so far, was the most horrifying experience of my life. I came out of that room so sick and hatred immediately filled my heart. I would not be the same person for many years. I still wanted to die. I struggled with thoughts of suicide. The only thing that kept me was the fear of going to hell. I went into a severe depression, where guilt and condemnation were always present within me. My father told my boyfriend that he was to stay away from me, that he did not know why his daughter was so depressed. This caused more hatred to fill my heart towards my parents. I told them I hated them for breaking us up. In my mind, the only way to make what we did right was to eventually be married. This is how my seventeen-year-old mind was processing everything at the time. The enemy had me believing so many lies. I felt as if I could never be forgiven. I murdered my baby.


I continued to spiral downward. I told no one of what I did. The only people who knew were my ex-boyfriend and me. I lived with shame, guilt, condemnation, self-hatred and offense towards my ex-boyfriend for a very long time. This secret seemed to be with me every moment of every day. It was my constant companion, a continual reminder of what a failure I was and that I didn’t deserve to be forgiven. The enemy had gained access of my thought life and I believed every lie he spoke. My heart became so calloused and hardened. I began to run from my thoughts by living for whatever gave me pleasure at the time. I wanted to fit in to this new world I was about to experience. The world of sinfulness. I began to drink, party, do drugs, go clubbing and do whatever I wanted to do. I hated myself. I wanted to hide from anything that had to do with the Lord. This continued for about seven years. The only problem was that God never stopped pursuing me. I couldn’t hide. I had a praying mom and I was continually convicted by the choices I was making. Psalms 139:7-8 & 11-12 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8.) If I make my bed in Sheol, behold You are there 11.) If I say, “surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me” 12.) even the darkness will not be dark to You, the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.”


I had no rest or peace. My parents were always praying for me. The Lord truly leaves the ninety-nine and goes after the one. At this time in my life, even this disturbed me. My parents would make me go to church and of course, God was always pursuing me, but I would choose to resist. There was a visiting evangelist this one Sunday and after he spoke, he had an altar call. Of course this altar call was for me, but I would not go forward, so he came to me. He said, “Jesus forgives you, now forgive yourself.” I thought if you only knew the extent of my sin, my secret, you would not be saying this to me. I murdered my baby; this is the most unforgivable sin in my mind. I could not receive what this man was speaking to me at this time in my life. My secret had me bound and truth could not enter in.


I grew tired of dating and the life I was living and I decided to pray to God, not believing He would want to even listen to me, but I prayed. I said, “Lord I am tired of dating. If you can hear me, let the next person I meet be the one I marry. I don’t care how long it takes or what he looks like, it can even be ten years from now, just let him be the one. Please, I’m tired.” The very next week, a client who went to the hair salon I worked at, asked if I wanted to go to a Fourth of July party. He was nice to talk to, but definitely not my type. I thought well, God totally did not hear my prayer but I had nothing else to do, so I went. In my rebellion I thought, my parents never like who I bring home...let me bring someone home they truly would not like. After all, I didn’t even like himHe was nice as a friend, but in no way was he boyfriend material. He was extremely wild. The stories I heard scared me. We began seeing each other more and more and before I knew it, we were dating. Then when I brought him home, my parent’s loved him! I said you have to be kidding me; I don’t even ‘like him - like him’. They said, “There is something in his eyes, he seems genuine.” About a month into our relationship, we slept together and I got pregnant. I told him I was pregnant and that I was having an abortion. I had already made plans and my girlfriend would be taking me. He said, “Are you sure that’s what you want to do?” I said, “yes” and I have already made the arrangements!” I did not even care what he thought. I told him, “I already had an abortion from my first boyfriend, and I am not ready to be a mom!” My heart was so cold, calloused, hard and selfish. My secret was out. He was the only one I had ever told about my first abortion. I went on to have that abortion and we never spoke of it again until...well, I will get to that a little later in my story.


Things began to get serious between my boyfriend and me. He wanted to get married. We were living a partying lifestyle, drinking, smoking pot, snorting cocaine. It was crazy to say the least. All of this while knowing what God wanted. Even though I was living like this in my mind, I could not marry anyone who did not receive Jesus as their Savior. Crazy I know, so I took him to church to see what he would do. I knew in my mind if he did not believe the same way I did, I could never marry him. He was the type of person that would never do something he didn’t want to do. So I knew if he were to receive Jesus as his savior, it would be because he truly wanted to. Well, you will never believe this, that traveling evangelist was at my church again and had an altar call for Salvation. I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Would you like to leave”. He said, “No, I want to check this out. I want to go up front.” I went with him and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The evangelist said to him, “Is this your wife?” and he said, “No”. The evangelist nodded his head and said, “someday!”. John drove home that evening and said this was better than any high that he ever had. God had answered my prayer that one night when I said I was tired of dating. John and I have been married for 32 years. We have three children and four grandchildren at this current time.


I would love to say that we immediately served the Lord after John received Christ, but that was not the case. We continued living a compromised lifestyle. Got engaged, got married and four months into the marriage, I was pregnant with our first daughter. We discussed living right before the Lord, now that we would be parents. We had a friend that would come by every Saturday and bring over cocaine. This was my husband’s drug of choice. This one Saturday evening he was over, I went into the bathroom and began to pray. I said, “Lord, we promised to stop this and live for you. Please show up. Let us never do this again. Deliver us.” I started praying in tongues in the bathroom. The gifts of God are truly irrevocable. I went out into the living room where they were waiting for me and I was filled with words of knowledge. Our friend could not open his hand to put the cocaine out on the table. He was flipping out as God was speaking through me. He kept saying, “Man, I can’t open my hand.” John was getting very angry saying, “Put it out!” and his friend kept saying, “I can’t”. Then John told me to “SHUT UP”. Filled with the Spirit, I remember saying, “Satan would love for me to shut up, but I am going to speak what the Spirit tells me to speak”. I continued to speak whatever the Spirit had me speak. At the end of this encounter, John’s friend opened his hand to put the cocaine out and it was all melted. John got delivered that night and we have never touched any drug again after that evening, nor returned to a compromised lifestyle. His friend came to church with us the next day, as he was blown away at the events that took place that evening.


Our journey with God began after that evening. I had asked God to forgive me of my sins, but forgiving me was a lot more difficult. Now would begin a process of many strongholds breaking off my life and my mind being transformed, renewed through the word of God and confession of my sins. I no longer kept what I was struggling with a secret. When we moved to Pennsylvania and got involved in a church, around the age of twenty-eight, we were asked to become youth leaders. My conscious would not let me be free to do ministry with the guilt I carried around of having two abortions. I confessed to my pastor what I had done. He led me in prayer and gave me the scripture in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I read it and thought it was good. It wasn’t until I meditated on what it truly said, that I was set free from the guilt of my sin. It said, “ALL”, unrighteousness, not some. The word ALL jumped off the page. All means all, not some. I began to reason in my mind. If God can forgive and cleanse me from ALL unrighteousness, how can I not forgive myself? Am I greater than God? No, of course not. So I prayed and said to the Lord, “Jesus thank you for forgiving me of ALL unrighteousness. No matter how big the sin, I choose to forgive me! Enable me to love and serve you all the days of my life. I did not deserve this grace and mercy, but I receive it in full measure. I Love you with all my being and I am eternally grateful to you.” It is the truth of God’s Word that sets us free from our own reasoning and the lies of the enemy. God is truth and there is no lie found in Him.


At around the age of thirty-six, John and I went through a program called Cleansing Stream and that was the first time we ever spoke of the abortion we had when we only dated for a month. God brought much healing into our lives at this time.


James 1:2-4  “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3.) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4.) And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”


I have lived through many trials throughout my lifetime. There would be too many to write about in this testimony. From 2008-2015 John and I walked through a very difficult season in our lives. During this time, I chose to rise up in my Spirit man and declare the goodness of God in the land of the living, regardless of the circumstances or outcome. John and I lost our home of twenty-five years due to the economy affecting his business. I was in a car accident in 2012, with no health insurance and during that time, lost four family members to cancer and illness. Out of this, God would have me write a personalized devotional, “Being Immersed in the Father’s Love” in obedience to the Lord’s directive. This is His heartbeat to all His Children. It is a personalized devotional that Immerses you into His kind intentions towards you through His word, no matter what the circumstances. Whether you know the Lord for one day, one hundred years, or not at all, this devotional will touch your life in an intimate way. He is a good, good Father! He orders our steps. The good steps and the hard steps. Receive His love, His truth, and His promises. May every lie be broken and cast down in Jesus name! Amen!   

 


Join Dana's Devotional:    Being Immersed in the Father's Love Devotional        Dana's Ministry Videos     

 

Dana's Testimony on Victorious Life TV with Lisa Buldo



Being Immersed in the Father's Love (Purchase on Amazon---Great Reviews!)   

                                       

Kindle Version is Available


Description of Dana's Ministry in Her Own Words:

"Come and be immersed in the overwhelming love of God the Father. Encounter His desire and the kind intentions that He has for you through the personalizing of scripture presented in this devotional. Picture a waterfall of God's promises washing over you and fully immersing you through the faithfulness of what He has promised to you in His word. Where negative mind-sets and perspectives will be washed away and replaced with great worth and value. Experience how you will be enabled to have victory in your life even while encountering difficult trials and circumstances. Your trust and faith will increase as you engage with Him. He is desiring you and is willing to give you all that He has promised. Come and encounter the goodness of God the Father and allow Him to lavish His love upon you. All you need to do is be willing to receive what He is providing. He is trustworthy and will not disappoint! Come and be immersed!"      

~Dana Repetti






 




 


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05Aug

Ralph Brown, 50, of Spring Hill, and Robert Brown, 51, of Merritt Island, managed to cross the Atlantic in a Suzuki powered 21' Flats Boat that Ralph's company, Dream Boats, Inc made. This boat, does not have a cabin, a keel to stabilize the boat if it were to flip, a sail, an escort, and---it had to carry its own fuel. They were exposed to the elements for the entire voyage and survived being run over by an iceberg in Greenland, almost running out of fuel hundreds of miles from shore, refusing to be rescued three separate times, surviving massive waves from the remnants of two hurricanes, being slammed into rocks by gale force winds, running out of money, and---many other amazing events during the 8,312 mile voyage.

Robert Brown

Ralph Brown

Robert and Ralph Brown's purpose for this outrageous 8,312 mile voyage was to honor Robert's former Marine comrades who died in 1980 in a botched mission called Operation Eagle Claw, in which several branches of the military attempted to liberate the American Embassy in Iran after terrorists took the ambassador and his staff hostage. The brother's raised money for military charities and began to publicize their boat’s seaworthiness so that the brothers could get their boat company, Dream Boats Global recognized to help business. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2009 – Cartwright, Labrador, Canada

When we woke up this morning [They were anchored just offshore.—Ed] we were surrounded by whales, which is kind of neat. We saw a few seals and several whales blowing and eating fish not too far from us. Then we also got surrounded by mosquitoes...So we were glad to fire the engine up and get moving. This is our last night in North America. We will be ending up in a Nuuk Greenland, about 600 miles away.

Wednesday, July 29 – In the Atlantic

Once we were about 30 minutes off shore we started putting on our ‘cold-weather’ gear, which is long underwear and boots. Also we are rearranging our sleeping area. It may not be much but it is an improvement. We are sitting much deeper in the water because we are carrying a lot more fuel.

Video of what it's like in the Atlantic in a flats boat....

Thursday, July 30 – In the Atlantic

11:36 AM: Last night was the most miserable night we have had yet. It was wet all night and very, very cold. But we are moving along, moving steadily. Always when we load the boat with gasoline, the first 100 miles we get terrible fuel (economy) and terrible performance. It has been about 6 foot seas out of the east most of the way. Not good. It is cold and windy. Hopefully the sun will come out today. We counted 21 icebergs yesterday and named 5 of them.

We are about 150 to 200 miles off the coast of Canada. Not making very good time thanks to glaciers and fog, and occasionally 8 to 10 foot waves.

3:20 PM: The waves are steadily been getting bigger and bigger, coming closer and closer, and that means they are building, and are not going in our direction...we are going very, very slow, we are not going to make Nuuk Greenland at our predicted time.

Saturday, August 1 – 152 miles from Nuuk, Greenland

At 3 AM this morning we picked up our sea anchor and started moving forward about 90 miles before the wind/seas picked back up again. It is still against us, but not really bad, we could easily go on but we are very concerned about our fuel consumption and because of that we are dropping the sea anchor and are going to wait for calmer seas, or the wind at our back, otherwise we can sit for a couple of days if we have to.

When we left Cartwright Labrador we had 310 gallons of fuel on board which is more than enough to go 900 miles under normal conditions. However we are only going 600 miles and the wind and waves were supposed to be out of SE at 3-4 feet. Unfortunately, instead we had waves about 5-9 feet, a little bigger than that in some cases and strong winds out of due E, right in our faces the whole time which ate our fuel, so now we are very conscious of the fuel left and are waiting for the right weather to burn it. We have our sea anchor out to minimize our drift and we are going from there.

Sunday, August 2 – Moving Again

We are now using our 9.9 horsepower kicker which is running well and giving us good gas mileage. It burns about three quarters of a gallon per hour and we are moving at 4 knots. When we started this process we had 60 gallons on board. That was enough to go for 100 hours at 4 knots or 400 miles. We don’t want to go that far at 4 knots per hour, we have around 100 miles to go.

Tuesday, August 4 – Arrived at the Greenland Coast!

5:00 AM in Greenland which is part of Europe! Every which way you can look are icebergs and rock islands. Unfortunately gas is almost 20 miles inland, reachable by water.

Thursday, August 6 – With the Greenlanders

Icebergs sink boats. They won't sink this Intruder 21, but they might damage the prop. That is why we are dodging these icebergs, and growlers, small chucks of Ice.

You have to realize how few Greenlanders there actually are. But they all seem so friendly. We met them today on our way from Qaqortoq to Nanortalik. (Population 300.)

Everyone seems to have a hard time believing that we came from Florida in this flats boat, it is only 4,400 miles. What is the problem?

Saturday, August 8 – It Is Getting Cold!

Last night Bob and I were on our way to Aappilattoq, an Island on the Way to our last stop in Greenland, Tasiilaq. It was dark and the wind was blowing hard. Driving at night is very dangerous because of the small icebergs. If you don't see them they could break your motor or sink some boats, not an Intruder.

After a while we took shelter behind an Island. We put out two anchors. We went to sleep. Bob on top of the bean bag wedged behind the helm. Me, on the back of the boat in the surf board bag. It is semi waterproof and semi warm. I was sleeping with two pairs of socks, a survival suit, the Interstate Battery Jacket, a separate jacket liner, three pairs of pants, gloves, my Interstate Battery Hat, a hood, and a shirt on. I completely zip it up around me except for a tiny air hole. I am sawing logs, sound asleep.

Wednesday, August 12 – Last Day in Greenland

Tasiilaq, Greenland is a town of about 1000 people located on the east side of Greenland. The whole east side of Greenland is uninhabited with a few exceptions. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Giant mountains come to the sea, with glaciers becoming Icebergs.

Seals, birds and whales roam while the thousands of icebergs float by. It is a 400 mile run between the town of Prince Christianson (Population 5) to Tasiilaq. On the 400 mile run from Prince Christianson we got rained on several times. It is a fine mist of rain that covers everything, our hands and feet were frozen. At that point it is very hard to sleep on the boat.

Thursday, August 13 – Only 147 Miles to Iceland!

12:49 PM: As we left Tasiilaq Greenland yesterday afternoon a whole bunch of kids gave us a standing ovation and some of them jumped into the 35 degree water with icebergs floating everywhere and the kids were swimming in the icy waters to say good bye to us.

We had some hot Quaker oatmeal for breakfast/lunch and we are approx. 147 miles northwest of Reykjavik Iceland.

Thursday August 20 -- Off to the Faroe Islands, 250 Miles Away

2:30 PM: We just left Westmen Island full of gas, going very smoothly, weather is beautiful, rolling breeze, four footers, calm seas, absolutely gorgeous. We also know we are just ahead of the big storm. It’ll take us a couple of hours burning off enough gas before we can go faster, we will be putting along at 8-9 mph heading toward Faroe Islands. We’ll get there tomorrow around noon give or take; it depends on how we beat the storm. We should be seeing some big seas.

10:36 PM: We are 250 miles from the Faroe Islands, black as all get out, trying to outrun the storm. We cannot see where we are going.

Many people think answered prayer is about how holy we are.  I think that is wrong. I think answered prayer is about who God is.  That is why we see people like David, Samson, and Elijah getting prayers answered. David and Samson did terrible things, yet, they prayed.  God heard their prayers.   All three took massive risks.  The scriptures teach us that Elijah was a man of like passions as us…. Yet he prayed.   

Bob and I are regular people, nothing special about us.  We will tell you, we prayed, not because of how good we are, but because we needed God’s help. 

There are dozens and dozens of episodes that cannot be explained other than God chose to smile on the I Am Second Wounded Hero Voyage.  I Am Second means God is first.  Here are four quick stories. 

Friday, August 21 – 104 Miles from the Faroe Islands

We are 104 miles northwest of the Faroe Islands. We are still trying to beat the storm. The waves have kicked up to about 10 to 12 feet! They are still coming out of the southwest while we are going southeast. They are not helping us any at all. As a matter of fact they are hurting a little bit. We have to go slow. Bob and I are both soaking wet from head to toes from both rain and waves. It is raining off and on. Waves are splashing over the front of the boat.

Saturday, August 22 – “It Can’t Sink, It Can’t Sink, It Can’t Sink.”

[Written at a computer after the fact.—Ed.] It can't sink, it can't sink, it can't sink were the words going through my mind along with help us Lord Jesus, and trust your equipment. Bob is saying don't panic. He did not remember saying those words to me, but it actually helped me to remember not to panic.

Huge waves are breaking into the boat, we are being pushed up on a shoal among the Faroe Islands. The boat is full of water and if it is not tied down it is gone. The antenna has fallen, the T top dry box just bounced open and all my important papers are falling, the waves are pushing us up to the rocks that we can't see, it is pitch black out with a cloud cover, our spotlight is only good for a few feet because of the fog. We are scared, I am scared both for my life and for the mission, especially the mission.

The waves are over 10 foot and it is black out. We see a couple of light houses in the distance, and Bob wants to tuck in behind an Island.

I want to get out to the open sea. I will take my chances with the bigger waves, but not the rocks. Bob, let me take the helm, gladly. It won't sink, it won't sink, it won't sink. Don't panic. Don't panic, Help me Lord, help us Lord, please, Trust your equipment. Trust your equipment. I set a course back out. The boat is full of water, more waves are breaking.

Aluminum pipes holding the T-top broken in numerous places

We are talking to search and rescue, we only want directions, they want information, and I don't want to change screens to give them the coordinates.

Can't get the boat straight, Bob climbs out to fix the antenna, waves are still breaking into the boat. It is pitch black out and it is hard to drive by GPS only. It is slow to respond, hard to starboard, why won't this heading change, too far, hard to port hard to port. Waves are still breaking into the boat. Suddenly there is a bright star or a planet. We lock in on our bearing. We get the boat straight, trust your equipment. Bob wants me to do something, can't take my eyes off the screen, suddenly we are spinning around again, don't know where the rocks are. There is the star, keep it on the right, starboard.

We are back out to open sea. The waves stop breaking. We get in the shelter of some islands. Wow, we are still going. The mission is still on!!!!

Tuesday, August 25 – Making Repairs

After 6000 miles and over 50,000 times slamming a 350 pound fuel tank on the deck we had some damage. We spent most of the day scrounging up some resin and glass. The repairs are basically completed.

Shetland Islands

Wednesday, August 26 – Casting off for the Shetland Islands

5:46 PM: We will be heading out momentarily and driving all night. We want to be in the Shetlands early in the morning and off to Orkney Islands later. There is a low pressure over Ireland now that will be moving over across Scotland then out to sea. We want to get to the coast of Scotland before the storm.

Bob and I decided not to wait for perfect weather and jump from Island to Island down to London and get there hopefully on or before September 2.

Friday, August 28 – Caught By the Storm, 15’ Seas!

After we left Scalloway, Shetland Islands, the weather started getting rough right away. Soon after we left the Islands it became apparent that the weather report we saw was not going to give us the eight hours we expected to make the crossing to the Orkney Islands. The winds picked up to about 40 mph and the waves picked up to about 10 -12 ft with an occasional 15 ft wave. They were coming out of the North West and we were heading South West. They were on our beam, coming at our side. (The most dangerous direction they could come from to our tiny little boat.) But the Intruder did well. A flats boat in breaking 15 foot seas! I have always said 12 foot was my max, before I threw out the sea anchor.

Out there the boat seemed to handle it well. Yes, there were about three close calls, Bob says about six. I only remember three where we could have flipped extremely easily if I did not turn the boat just right. One time we launched way up in the air and the wind caught the boat it came down on its tail and twisted sideways, well that was an eye opener. I wasn't going that fast; we just hit that wave just right. God was smiling on us. Let’s face it he has been smiling on us this whole trip.

Our T-top has just about had it and all the pipes are cracking. I don't understand it, the T-top is a super expensive one made with extra and larger aluminum pipes. The guy that built it and installed it says it is the best one made by anyone and he charges a lot for it. I am not sure what the problem is. It may have something to do with the 50,000 times we have slammed the boat down. By the way that number 50,000 times is not an exaggeration, it is probably low.

Trying to get the boat air shipped back on U.S. military transport

[In the next couple of weeks Bob and Ralph Brown made it down the east coast of Scotland, England, stopping in at London, the across the English Channel to Holland and Germany, arriving at their final destination on September 10th.

Dream Boats Global Website (Let Them Build Your Dream Boat)  

Ralph & Robert Brown's Book: "I Am Second Voyage; Smallest Powerboat Crossing the Atlantic"

Story is also available in an eleven episode series that you can purchase on (prime video)

   



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31Jul

Marty Breeden had a near-death experience that brought him into the Lord's presence. While in heaven, he received an urgent message for the Church. Join Marty, as he shares his amazing testimony called CODE BLUE.


"...while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed."   (Titus 2:13) 


Marty Breeden


At one time, as a young man of 17, I had given my heart to the Lord with great passion. As in many cases, though, I got busy with life, as a husband, a father of two girls, and a Police Officer. In 2015, at 51 years of age, those years of experiencing the zeal of the Lord seemed far away. I had no idea how the Lord was about to sternly, yet lovingly, bring me back to Himself.


On July 17, 2015, as a result of my going into acute respiratory failure, I went “Code Blue.” I would go “Code Blue” yet again within 48 hours. When I “coded” the first time, I immediately left my body, and I found myself standing in what I sensed was the presence of the Lord. Thinking back now, there were a million things He could have said to me, and what He did say, I was certainly not expecting. With an imminence and urgency beyond description, He said, “MY CHURCH DOES NOT REALLY BELIEVE THAT I’M COMING BACK SOON!” He repeated this two more times, as I stood there in stunned silence. Each time, it was with more volume and more passion. I finally said, waving my hands like a school child to get His attention, “Lord, yes we do believe you’re coming back soon. We sing about it, pray about it, study about it; yes, Lord, we do believe that you’re coming back soon!” He then said, “MY Church does not really believe I’m coming back soon, for if they did, they would not be living as they are!” Then I listened as the timbre of His voice changed. He said, “I AM coming back soon, and my Church is not ready…Now, go back and tell the things that you have heard, and know that your message will not be received!”


I was in the CCU for three weeks, the majority of that on a respirator with a tracheotomy. I survived and would go to the University of Virginia Transitional Care Facility to learn how to walk, talk, and swallow again. It was there, that I had a second encounter with the Lord on August 14, 2015. In a night vision, He spoke to me these words: “My church should be living as though this is the TWO-MINUTE WARNING!” Being a huge football fan, I knew exactly what He was saying: That we should be working with absolute purpose and passion, because in that Two-Minute Warning, those last 120 seconds can determine victory or defeat. It’s an all-out rush to do all you can to win the game, to put up a strong offense, and—if you’re winning—to keep the opposition from gaining ground or scoring points. As the Apostle Paul said, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” Those encounters changed my life, and as I lovingly warn the Church, I see this message changing the hearts of others as well. I now go to the highways and byways and compel men to come in. I often pray that in the time I have remaining that I will live a life that will make sense in the light of eternity. With all that is within me, I know He is coming, and I believe His blessed return to be nearer than most would believe. Get your houses in order; ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and leading as to what you are supposed to be doing in this late, late hour. Surely, our “redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28 KJV).


To watch Marty share his full testimony, go to the YouTube video:  In this video, Marty was interviewed by Lyn Leahz. 

***(Lyn's  YouTube Channel ----- A couple of her websites are:  Freedom Nation News (FNN)-----Lyn Leahz.    And, recently she has become the new host of Prophecy in the News***  

Lyn's non-fiction book called Soul Deceiver is best-seller which can be ordered on Amazon.



Marty's message has been shared on A Minute to Midnite --- Remnant Call Radio & many more. 












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26Jul

Dawn Klinge, tells her story of how life's twists and turns taught her to trust God. Today, Dawn inspires others with her ministry called Above the Waves. Come along, as you read Dawn's journey of letting go of worry and trusting Jesus.


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."  (Proverbs 3:5-6)



Dawn Klinge


If you were to ask me where this journey of trusting God in my life started, I would begin with a story about a move my new husband and I made. It was when we decided to go to school in Moscow, Idaho.


I’ll begin here, because it was when I started to wake up and become more aware how completely dependent on God I really am. I was desperate at times, which I can see now, was exactly where I needed to be. Unfortunately, I’m a person who learns best through the hard times. That desperation led me to God---He never let me down, and I know now that he never will.


God has been at work, and He will continue to work as I trust in Him. Resting in God’s perfect love, and in His will is the best possible place to be.


I arrived in Moscow, Idaho, sunburned on half of my face, with half of an idea in my head of how we were going to "make a go of it" in that little college town. My husband, Derek, drove the U-Haul and I drove the car from Wenatchee across the scrubby desert of eastern Washington to the gently rolling wheat land of the Palouse. That August day--- the fields were gold and bright as was the sun, which only reached half my face and one arm through the open window of the white Jetta. Four hours later, I pulled up to our new home looking pretty funny---some comic relief to what was, really, a scary situation.


We had received provisional admittance and a financial aid package in the form of loans to the University of Idaho. Using all of our savings---we put down a deposit, and paid the first month’s rent on a studio apartment close to campus. We had just enough left to live on for the next week when school started, and when we would receive our first check for living expenses. Nothing was finalized, but we had quit our jobs and given notice on our old apartment in Wenatchee, and we had paid for the new one in Moscow. We were going, no matter what. This all happened in the days when paperwork went through "snail mail", not e-mail. We were still waiting on some of it.


When I told my boss at the grocery store, that I worked at that I was moving---he was concerned. He took me out to lunch to try and talk me out of it, telling me that I could be a manager if I wanted. He asked me how we were going to pay for college and pointed out the potential pitfalls of our proposed venture. I didn’t know how we were going to pay for it.


My boss was right. We were taking a risk. We would be poorer than we already were---at least for the next few years. But something kept nudging us, an idea we couldn’t get out of our minds, and we knew that this is what we were supposed to do. Neither of us, would have explained it as something that we thought God wanted us to do at the time, as we were both pretty cold in our relationships towards God. In fact, we were looking forward to being away from the expectations of our church going families and we didn’t have any plans to continue with anything like church attendance once we were in Moscow. But God had a plan for us.


Our new home was a studio apartment in a 1930’s era building, just across the street from the University of Idaho campus. Tucked into a hillside and surrounded by trees, with big windows along the west side of the room, it reminded me of a tree house. In spite of its shabbiness, it was really kind of cute, after we unpacked and put away our things. I was looking forward to this new life.


Our first mail delivery arrived the next day, with a letter from the college. When I opened it, my heart started racing. According to the registrar, I would not be able to start classes that fall because they had never received my high school transcripts. Never mind that I already had an associate degree from a community college and had already been accepted. Without the transcript, I wasn’t going to go to school that semester. I would need a job immediately.   I had requested that my high school transcripts be sent to the college months ago. I frantically called my old high school, to see what had happened, but it was early August, and nobody was in the office---making it a few weeks too late for me to get an answer. Tears threatening to spill, I marched down the hill onto campus, and into the registrar’s office to see what could be done. The lady behind the counter stiffly told me that nothing could be done.


Helping me was just her job, nothing personal. I felt as though that she didn’t care. I realized that nobody else cared about my problems as much as I did because they were "my" problems. That thought was followed quickly by another, that there was someone else who cared. I prayed a silent, God, help! Immediately, I knew what to do.


"Can you check under H-E-N-D-R-I-X for the transcript?" I asked. My maiden name was actually spelled Hendricks. Nobody had ever misspelled my name with an x before, but somehow, I knew, this is what the problem was. The lady rolled her eyes, but checked anyway. And that’s where the transcript had been all along, filed under a misspelled name. I was back in school, just like that.


Walking out of that office, I couldn’t deny to myself what had just happened. I knew that God was in control of what I was doing in Moscow, and that He was watching out for me. I had heard His voice, not audibly---but I knew that what had happened was beyond me for sure. That thought didn’t come from me. I could have chalked it up to good luck, but I knew it wasn't. It doesn’t really seem like a big thing, on the surface, but that incident had a bigger impact on my life than just deciding whether or not I got into college that semester---It started a change in me, and the way I thought about God.  In fact, it was just the beginning!


With that desperate quick prayer and instant answer---I knew that God cared about my needs, even more than I did. None of these things were to my credit, or based on some ability I had to trust in God---They were pure grace. I didn’t come to trust in God on my own strength. It was the working of the Holy Spirit.


Dawn is a freelance writer and Christian blogger who loves encouraging women to keep their focus on Jesus. She’s the author of Look to Jesus: How to Let Go of Worry and Trust God. She’s a wife and mom to two teens. A Seattle girl, she loves books and coffee. You can find her at Dawn Klinge (Above the Waves) ministry site.


Click here to purchase Dawn's book from her ministry site.


Dawn's book is also available on Amazon.   (Great Reviews!)




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20Jul

David L. Winters, is a Christian author of non-fiction and fiction books who nearly lost his decorated federal career due to fear and anxiety. Though a believer---paralyzing anxiety, led to panic attacks and confusion. God eventually called him to a five-month sabbatical that changed his life, and has helped thousands who read about his journey in an award-winning book Sabbatical of the Mind: The Journey from Anxiety to Peace.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."                        (2 Timothy 1:7)


David L. Winters


Although, I accepted Christ in adolescence, the wounds of my childhood left indelible marks on my heart. My motto as a government procurement manager: "Never let them see you sweat". Rising quickly through the civilian ranks of the Navy, I reached the highest general schedule grade at age 34. On the outside, I’m told that I looked confident, intelligent and funny.


On the inside, I felt driven to accomplish as much as possible. Though ambitious and eager, fear became my constant companion. Frankly, I didn’t know the basis for most of my fears. High places, including flying in airplanes could be overcome with a pill, and carrying my Bible with me on the trip. Fear of public speaking could be managed with intense preparation and to-die-for graphics in my presentation slide deck.


Although, a strong man on the outside, the pain inside became almost unbearable. In my forties, panic attacks appeared out of nowhere. Now working in Washington, D.C. for the Department of Homeland Security, my daily routine included going in and out of controlled facilities. Keycards, elevator control cards, physical keys and microchips all had a part in my daily life. One day, I had to fight with myself to get on an elevator to go to an important meeting.


At the large conference room table, the meeting had just begun when I thought I was having a heart attack. To make a long story short, I scared everyone to death and found out it wasn’t a heart attack. God had a plan to change my life.


Over several months, He showed me that I must quit my job and spend time with Him in prayer. Everyone thought, that I was even crazier when I quit my secure government job just six years short of retirement to take a sabbatical. I didn’t know how long it would last or what would happen. I just quit working and started spending all day, every day with God and occasionally a few close friends.


The result was an amazing transformation! By reading the Bible, praying and studying more than twenty books, God relieved me of my underlying fears and gave me confidence to return to work. I learned that the purpose of my life was not to get ahead, but to serve my employees, customers, supervisors and co-workers. When I started spreading love, fear fled the scene.


After completing the last five-plus years of my career, I retired and made another dream come true by becoming a Christian author. Sabbatical of the Mind: The Journey from Anxiety to Peace became my first book and tells the whole story of recovery from paralyzing fear. Although my author journey has only begun, I can now trust God that whatever lies ahead, He is in charge.



Catch up with David on his website Sabbatical of the Mind or his Facebook Author Page David L. Winters ----He also has a Blog---


Purchase Sabbatical of the Mind on Amazon and on the STORE section of his website Sabbatical of the Mind   


                                                                               Purchase Sabbatical of the Mind

Please visit David's website Sabbatical of the Mind for other fiction & non-fiction books he has written.








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03Jul

Emily's, dark past included many failed relationships, an abortion, addiction, welfare, and single motherhood. She became so hopeless, that she came up with a suicide plan. However, a chance meeting with a stranger, changed her life forever!

"Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven whereby we must be saved."  (Acts 4:12)

Emily Myers


This is the story of how God intervened in my broken life and turned my past into purpose.....


In 2012, I was a single mom on welfare, unemployed, and addicted to drugs and alcohol. I was hopeless and in despair with a suicide plan, when a chance meeting with a stranger changed my life forever. I met a woman who invited me to an addictions program called Reformers Unanimous at her local church. It was there, that I was faced with the most important decision of my life.


I grew up in a very religious home with a large family. My mom was loving and attentive, but unfortunately both of my parents came from abusive childhoods, and so that cycle continued. My dad drank alcohol every night, and was violent and unpredictable. His unfaithfulness toward my mom affected our family greatly. There was no moral compass or guidance for my siblings and me. My childhood (and eventually adulthood) was marked by fear and mistrust of everyone. I was taken out of the family home several times as a child, living in various institutions.


I spent adulthood trying to escape the pain of my childhood. Failed relationships, abortion, drugs, alcohol, regret, guilt, shame, 10 years of counseling, multiple 12 step groups, false religions, self-help books, and the list goes on. I needed an identity, but couldn’t find one. What was missing? Why did I feel so empty inside? These questions haunted me every day.


By 37, life had come undone. I couldn’t handle one more failure, and the only way out that I could see...was death. I made the decision, that I was going to kill my daughter and then myself. It was no coincidence that shortly after this, I saw a news story about a woman in Florida who had the same idea, however...her son died and she survived. For that reason, I delayed my actions for several weeks and that is when God intervened by putting the Christian woman in my path. She showed me a kindness and acceptance that I had never known. She didn’t judge me, and wasn’t afraid to jump into the mess I had made of my life. If that wasn't enough...she held my hand through the darkness. For the first time, I saw the love of Christ through another person! Curiosity got the best of me, and one night I attended the program. There was a preacher there named Mitch Zajac, who shared his incredible story of redemption. He was as hopeless as I was before he too, was faced with a decision to make. He explained why Jesus came to the earth over 2,000 years ago. He came to seek and to save the lost! I knew I was lost! And, I knew I was broken! He asked me this question with urgency:  "If I were to die in a car accident that night, would I go to Heaven?" I thought I would go to Heaven, but according to the Bible I was wrong. I realized I was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. I had been wrong about many things, but I knew I couldn’t be wrong about that. My whole life hinged on whether I would accept Christ or reject Him! I chose to accept Christ's payment on the cross for my sins, and in that moment...a burden was lifted from me that words can’t describe. Shame and guilt vanished and although, I still had the same problems, I now faced them with a new hope.  


Within a year, God blessed me with my best friend, Andrew, and we have been married 5 years! Our marriage is happy and healthy because God is the best matchmaker! I have been completely clean and sober for 6 years as of 2018! Through Biblical counseling, the Reformers Unanimous program, weekly Bible class, and church services at Valley Forge Baptist Temple, in Collegeville, PA,...I have experienced complete victory over addiction! Most importantly, God gave me a clear conscience after forgiving my sins. The one who made me is the only one who could fix me. God was the missing piece!!



***Valley Forge Baptist Temple in Collegeville, PA***                                                                                     

***Valley Forge Baptist Temple (Biblical Counseling Center)***


***Mitch Zajac, had the opportunity to share his testimony on CBN's The 700 Club this past year. Today, Mitch is a traveling evangelist, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Feel free to contact Mitch for prayer and questions about Jesus and salvation***        

                                                                     

Making a Living from Anger (Mitch's Story)       Mitch's Ministry Site      Talkin' Faith TV Show      

Reformers Unanimous








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24Jun

Nora, learned from an early age, that life can be hard and disappointing, but she never knew what God had for her, until she realized that He was there all along. It is when Nora gave her life to Christ, that He turned her world right-side up!



I was born into a very unhappy home with 6 siblings. My father was a working alcoholic who was kind to me even when he was drunk. My mother on the other hand...was an overweight, unhappy, and angry woman. She didn't know how to show her children affection or love, and never told me that she loved me. When she beat me...she hit to hurt...not to teach. She made life miserable for us including my Dad"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)


My father was un-churched, but all of us were brought up Catholic, and enrolled in a Catholic school with strict Dominican nuns who beat students for even small infractions during the school day. If my mother found out about the beating...she would beat us again. Though I had a great sense of humor, and loved to make others laugh...in my heart I was always crying for love. Due to a lifelong struggle with atopic dermatitis, I was mocked for my skin condition, and was always very nervous, anxious, and insecure. Inside I began to get angry and this root began to grow deeper and deeper in my soul. I always wanted to go to college and be a teacher, but when I was a senior in high school…my parents believed that women didn’t need to go to college. My heart was broken once again, when all my friends left for college, and I had to find a job, and still live under my parents' roof.


At age 18, I could no longer stand all the fighting and screaming that went on all the time, and was afraid to bring any of my friends to my house. So, I escaped and married a navy seaman whom my brother brought home on leave. Little did I know, that he would also become a working alcoholic, and when our son died a few weeks after being born...he began to drink even heavier. Our marriage ended after 15 years, but God had richly blessed us with two more sons. Afterwards, I continued to struggle and fail with many relationships, but managed to find stability and purpose by renovating an 1885 Victorian home near Erie, Pennsylvania, into a 9 bedroom bed & breakfast. I hired 2 young Mennonite girls to help, and was drawn to their quiet behavior, maturity and spirituality.


Little did I know that God was working to draw me to Himself. One Saturday night, I had no guests in the inn, which was a rare occurrence. Then a TV in one of the guest rooms turned on by itself. I sat down to watch...it was a local pastor who was preaching the gospel and challenging his listeners to go to church. I now know that God was orchestrating this “coincidence” because I didn’t know which church to go to until I realized I had a pastor and his wife staying at the inn approximately 2 weeks before the TV incident, and...that their church was the one God had planned for me. I sat with the pastor’s wife during the service, and could not understand why I couldn't stop weeping. She quietly asked me, “Do you want to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?” I had never heard that statement before, but was truly at the end of myself and needed the salvation God freely offered. I knelt in that little church that day, December 6th, 1999, at 52 years old… and yielded myself to accept Jesus Christ’s loving offer to forgive all my sins, and His free gift of salvation. A few months later, I was baptized and began to grow spiritually through God’s Word—The Bible.


In September of 2007, I had problems with 2 of my fireplaces, and called 3 chimney sweeps to come and look at them. Mitch was the only one who called back. I was taken back by his height, and since I didn't know anything about how he would fix the leak, I just thought he would slide down the chimney—I actually feared he might get stuck! Duh! He saw a plaque by my front door that said, "As for me and my house we shall serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). Then he went out to his car to get his tract. (His personal testimony of coming to the Lord)


When I read it, I was certainly taken back, but at the same time...I was very intrigued. I was attracted to him. He asked me, if I was saved, and then he started a whole new conversation. Looking back at this point in my spiritual walk, I guess I was still very carnal. Anyway, he proceeded to start the work on the roof, and stopped a number of times to talk to me, while I was pulling carpet off the basement steps. As I was pulling the carpet up...I kept breaking the bulb in the lamp that I was using for light. In order to find out more about him, I asked real stupid questions like: "Are your children as tall as you too?" (Actually, I was trying to find out if he was married. Pretty bold don't you think?) Then, he told me he wasn't married and my heart skipped a beat!


He came back the next day to finish the job and brought a gift. It was a new bulb, but it was a stronger one. That was when I fell for the guy! Forget about being romantic it fads, I just wanted a practical man. After that, we talked on the phone almost every day about the Bible, his salvation, my salvation, etc., etc. He came back in October, to rake all the leaves off my very big front lawn while I was at work. I knew I was hooked!       


One afternoon in December, I was sick with the flu, and had been in bed for three days. The doorbell rang, and I snuck out of my bedroom very softly, to see who it was and— to my surprise it was Mitch all dressed up in church clothes. I couldn't possibly answer the door in the condition that I was in! Let's just say—I had no makeup on (don't leave home without it) and—the worst case of bed head hair (didn't comb it for 3 days, and probably frighten a cadaver!!). Well, he kept ringing the bell, and the dog was barking like crazy, so I decided to call him from my bedroom. He had just preached in the Pottsville, PA Prison, and was so anxious to tell me about how many men gave their lives to Jesus. I really had missed him, so I asked him to give me an hour to get ready, and he said that he would wait. I never moved so fast in my life! I even started a fire in the now working fireplace to add a little cozy atmosphere.


We sat opposite of each other in the living room and I finally got the nerve to ask him a question that had been on my mind for a while: "Mitch is there anything going on between you and me?" His answer was: "Oh yes, I like you, I really like you". I said, "Well now, at least we are on the same page". We married on April 6th, 2008. In these 10 years as husband and wife, I have grown spiritually stronger in the Lord primarily because, Mitch was my disciple and I have been blessed by his furor for the Word of God.


Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma the same cancer that took my sister’s life in 2012. There is no cure for this cancer because it affects your blood and bones. I am not afraid of dying—because I know where I am going! “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), but while I am alive—I want to tell everyone I can about the Jesus who changed my life, and my eternity—so they will also come to know that they can share the same joy, peace, and purpose for living that I have and—be comforted that they no longer can only hope for Heaven, when the Bible tells us we can KNOW for certain that Heaven CAN be our eternal home too. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”  (1 John 5:13)


The anger, disappointment, and wounds we experience in this life are real, but they are all a result of sin. Jesus is the cure for sin, and He wants all of us, to turn our lives “Right Side Up”...as He has mine.         “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!” (Romans 10:13)  I pray that you too, will call on Him today, and make Him your Lord forever. It’s the most important decision you can ever make!


***Nora's husband, Mitch, had the opportunity to share his testimony on CBN's The 700 Club this past year. Today, Mitch is a traveling evangelist, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, and Nora is right by his side. ***  Making a Living from Anger (Enjoy watching Mitch's testimony!) Mitch's ministry site: Mitch Zajac 













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22May

When Kathy was younger, she didn't know God. She was empty, divorced, and a single mom. Kathy's emptiness turned into fulfillment when her life became the Lord's. To her, that's the best decision she has ever made besides marrying her husband Scott.



"Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You."  (Psalms 63:3)




I was raised in a home where my mother and my oldest sister took us to a Lutheran church. I was there for 16 years. I was baptized and confirmed, but I was confused about the true way of salvation. When I went back many years later and looked in the notebooks my father had saved for me, I found the notation, “What is it really like to know God?”


I went on in ignorance, got married when I was 21, and had a son, then my twin girls when I was 30. At that time, I remember thinking to myself that “this is what life is all about.” But, I was also in a marriage that had been split up seven or eight times because of an unfaithful relationship. I began to realize what a mess my life was in. I went to counseling with my minister, and all he had to offer me was a psychology book. Even though I was not saved at the time, I thought it was really odd that a minister would not offer me anything from the Bible, the Word of God. (Note: “salvation”, “saved” and “born again” are biblical terms referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of a person from their power and penalty of that sin. This is God’s requirement for everlasting life.)


At the time, I just turned to go my own way. My marriage was broken, and I had no one in my life. I got into the nightclub scene. I loved to dance, and it got so that rock and roll was all I had to uplift me. At the same time, it was my downfall. I went on like this for nearly two years. But my life was empty. Oh, I loved my children, and I got up every day and went out and worked hard to provide a home for them. But it got to a point where I would get up in the morning and look in the mirror and I couldn’t stand myself because I knew something was missing. Something was terribly wrong. About that time, my friend at work started attending an independent Baptist church she had attended as a child. She had just built a house and was trying to fill her life with material things. She began asking me if I’d like to attend church with her, and I didn’t respond at first. But then, the Lord brought another lady to work with me temporarily because she had been injured and couldn’t do her regular job. She began to preach the Word of God to me. Everyone around us abandoned the area when she started witnessing and preaching. I couldn’t leave because this was my job area, but I really would not have wanted to leave. Something drew me to what this woman had to say. She told me in no uncertain terms, that I was a sinner and needed to get saved. She opened her Bible and began to read from the book of John, chapter three, verse 16. I just listened and thought to myself, “Something is clicking here.” While I didn’t really understand everything, it was enough of a nudge for me to seek out my friend and ask her if I could take her up on her offer to take me to church with her.


I got my two year old twins ready that next Sunday morning, and my 10 year old son and we were off for church. I went for two weeks and listened to everything that was being said. The Saturday night before the third Sunday, the Lord opened up my heart and let me see myself for what I was—a sinner destined for hell if I didn’t get saved. I had no peace that night. I knew I had to get alone with God and deal with this. I had read enough of the Bible, the books of John and Romans, to know what I had to do. That Saturday night, May 14th, 1981, I got down on my knees and acknowledged that I was a sinner and asked the Lord to come into my heart and change my life.


The next day I couldn’t wait to get to church. Even though my children were there with me, I felt like there was no one around me. I was convinced that those who were there could see my sin because the message so pointed at me. During the invitation for people to come forward and get to know Christ as their personal Savior, I literally ran up the aisle. I was weeping as I told the usher that the Lord had come into my heart the night before, and I said that I so wanted my family to be saved also. The Lord was so good to me, and I praise Him for that.


I continued living in Baltimore. About 1983, things began to change at Western Electric, where I had worked for 17 years. I felt I was being pulled in the wrong direction, and I prayed to God to remove me from that atmosphere. Little did I know that I would be moved to another state.


I was offered a job at the Western Electric plant in Allentown, PA. It was a big decision for me. I went to my ex-husband to see if that door might still be open for me. After talking to him, I knew that chapter of my life was closed, and I jumped right into finding a new life in Pennsylvania.


My sister lived with me in Allentown for a couple of years until she retired in 1988 and moved back to Baltimore. I was pretty lonely after that. I worked with both men and women at Western Electric, and I had a number of men come up to me and ask me out. But, I had promised myself that I would not get involved with an ungodly man.


So, I began to pray to God. I told God I didn’t know if I even had a right to ask Him for a husband, but that I was lonely and I would like to have a man that would lead and guide and direct my children. I asked for a man that reads the Bible and a man that would want to sit and have family devotions and share God’s Word with his family. I asked for a man with whom I could have a spiritual relationship, as well as good fellowship.


I believe God gave me that man when He brought Scott Wilson into my life. Our marriage has not been without problems. We all have problems. But we can always get down on our hands and knees and ask God for guidance and direction. For me, sometimes, that has meant I’ve had to go to my husband and ask him to forgive me for trying to lead the family. After being a single mother making all decisions for so long, I found that sometimes I have a tendency to be independent.


At those time, I find it a comfort to turn to the Bible and read the book of Ephesians, chapter five, verses 21 to 25, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” That helps me remember what a true Christian home is like under Christ. I find if I submit myself first unto the Lord, then unto my husband, most times everything just falls in place. That’s the advice I would give to any young woman just starting out in her married life.


Kathy and her husband Scott (Very cute in matching colors)

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22May

I walked into church with blue jeans, a flannel shirt, long hair, a bad attitude, a pack of cigarettes and the idea of getting a beer right after the service—then the Lord got hold of my heart.





I was raised in a religious home—not a Christian home, but a religious home, nevertheless. I was always required to go to church. I had a grandfather who was a preacher in a Brethren church who had a born-again testimony (Note: salvation, saved, and born again are biblical terms referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of a person from the power and penalty of that sin. This is God’s requirement for everlasting life.) I heard the gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time at 7 years of age when I had an opportunity to attend a Monday night service every other week called “Kiddies Treat.” It was held at the home of Mrs. Gertrude. Her whole family was involved in an outreach program for the kids in the neighborhood. I left that program when I was nine years old. Even though she and my grandfather were good friends, I didn’t see her again for nearly 3 decades.


When I was 11, my folks went through a divorce, and I became a latchkey child. I didn’t have any rules, regulations, or restrictions on my life. I started working almost full-time when I was 15 for some of the luxuries of life and to help my mom put food on the table. I didn’t see much of my father because I was angry at him for what he had done to our family.


At 17, I packed up and left for the Air Force. I had already spent a night in jail for drinking, and I was involved in many things that pulled me down as a teenager: music, alcohol, and fighting. I went into the Air Force, so I wouldn’t have to go to school anymore, and get away from all the restrictive rules and regulations being put on me at home now that my mother had changed shifts, so she could be home with me more often. So, I became a ward of Uncle Sam. In the service, I learned how to drink, fight, and curse even more. I spent three years in Germany. While there, I married a girl and brought her back to the US. Our daughter, Tanja, was born after we returned from Germany.  That marriage didn’t last long because my life was under the power of alcohol.   

 

I stayed single for five years and married again. That marriage didn’t last too long either for the same reason the first one failed. By this time, I had another daughter, Kristen, with my second wife.  Despite all the vows I had made to myself about never putting my kids through the heartache of a broken home—here I was with two kids and two broken homes.


By this time I was about 36 years old and 4 years earlier, my brother Bill had been saved. I hadn’t seen Bill for about 5 years and my dad in 16 years. There was just a wide gap between us. When Bill became a Christian, he started to send me literature hoping to draw me to the Lord. I took the literature and laughed because I just figured he had gotten religion. I had no idea what is all meant. I had pretty much given up on trying to figure life out, and I was just cruising along on autopilot in the rut I had made for myself.


One night in 1983, there was a knock on the door, and it was my brother who had made a special trip to invite me to go to the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church that night. I argued with him about why people never go to church on Friday night. Since I didn’t have any friends, and it was so nice to see my brother, I told him if he’d just stop talking about it, I’d go to church with him and his wife. Although, I didn’t know it at the time—his wife started a prayer chain that turned into about 400 people praying for my salvation. 


When I walked into the church with blue jeans, a flannel shirt, long hair, a bad attitude, a pack of cigarettes and the idea of getting a beer right after the service—the Lord got a hold of my heart. The message that night was preached by Gary Gilmore, a visiting evangelist. He was preaching about the importance of being born again as shown in the New Testament in the book of John chapter three.  At first I had no idea what he was talking about, but I listened, and it seemed the whole message was directed to me alone. I came to the realization that if I didn’t do something that night to get right with God, I would probably spend eternity in hell because of my sinful nature.


The preacher asked everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. He then invited those who wanted to know Christ personally to come forward. My brother cheated and opened his eyes to look at me. He saw I was having a lot of trouble—I was weeping and fidgeting, and he leaned over and simply said to me, ”What will you do with Jesus Christ?” I turned to him and told him that if I could get down to the front of the aisle, after the mess I had made of my life, I think I could really get some answers from God that could help me.  Well, I did get to the front of the church, and one of the men took me into a side room and shared several passages of Scripture with me.  I bowed my head and asked Jesus Christ to come into my life, to save my lost and dying soul, and He did!  That was March 18, 1983 on a Friday night.  I knew that night what it meant to be born into the family of God. 


God began to work in my life. I went to see my dad to share with him what had happened to me, and I asked him if he was saved. He said “Yes,” and gave me a convincing testimony of his salvation. He also told me he knew he had made many mistakes along the way and asked me to forgive him for his sinfulness. Through that the Lord restored the years that we had been apart. He died a few months later.


I also went to visit see Mrs. Gertrude, my old Monday night Bible class teacher to tell her of my salvation—She wasn’t surprised though. She told me she had been praying for my salvation for the last 29 years! She never lost faith that one day the Lord would claim me as His own.


More than 26 years have passed, and while God has given me a lot of challenges, He has also given me the strength to meet them. I’ve been fortunate to be able to serve for many years at the Allentown Rescue Mission, in Allentown, PA—bringing the Word of God and my personal testimony to many men who have traveled the path I was on for so many years. Presently, I am serving with Cornerstone Prison Ministry at Valley Forge Baptist Temple, in Collegeville, PA. The Lord has also brought me a wonderful Christian wife and family to share my new life with.


I’d like to leave you with one final thought. As a young man starting out, I thought I could pretty much do whatever I wanted to do and get away with it. But God has a way of getting to you—because He loves you. God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins and your sins and for the sins of the whole world. My advice to anyone is to get into the Word of God and judge yourself by the standards in God’s Word, so that you won’t be found lacking when you face God in eternity.


Scott Wilson lives in Boyertown, PA, and he’d be happy to share more about his Savior that changed his life. His number is (610) 367-7689


John 3 New King James Version (NKJV)

The New Birth

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

3“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.[a] 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[b] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”  


John the Baptist Exalts Christ

22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.

25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”

27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

 

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03May

Through years of physical and emotional abuse, Surya Nycole, has allowed God to use all that she has gone through for His glory. Today, she has a recovery ministry helping others overcome their life trauma's. Surya is also a worship leader, speaker, and author. Please take some time to listen to Surya's videos. They will encourage you and those you love and care for.



(Mark 8:34-38)   "Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”


God uses us! Even in the midst of our sin, our pain, and especially in our sorrow. He uses ALL things for good, not only for those that are hurting, but also for those doing the hurting. Today, I am going to encourage you with one of my many testimonies of how God carried me through, healed me, and helped me grow in my relationship with Him!

It’s no secret that I am a single mother—I never married my son’s father however—my pregnancy was a medical miracle. In the past, I had many woman issues that left my ovaries scarred, and even experienced cancer scares that brought on several surgeries which took half of my cervix. My odds of pregnancy became 50/50—50% chance I would get pregnant, and 50% chance that I would get pregnant, but with extremely high odds of not carrying full-term or miscarrying. I left that appointment filled with sorrow—grieving my dreams of becoming a mother. I knew God, but as any immature Christian, I believed I didn’t deserve to be healed and/or blessed, and that I was the one in control. I began to gather paperwork to start the adoption process for a special needs child and MY plan was to mail it out on my 30th birthday. But even in the midst of my sin, God had a different plan!


Unmarried and in an unstable relationship, I became pregnant in December 2009. Needless to say—I had a high risk pregnancy. I was excited to become a mother, but I feared losing my baby, especially knowing that I did not become pregnant in a way that pleased God. The father of my child was in and out of my life, coming back with temporary positive gestures that sometimes lasted only a few hours. Often he would leave after horrible actions of cheating and verbal abuse. I was about 4 months pregnant, when I prayed about getting back together with my son’s father. God showed me two roads that I could chose to take—The first road would lead to a dark and heavy-hearted path with a terrifying forest—The second road would be breathtaking, beautifully bright, and like open and clean fresh air. While God showed me the 2 choices that I could take—I chose the dark path. I wanted my child to have a family—I’m sure you are thinking—Why didn’t you choose the sunny road!?!? But, I had already had years of false Biblical teaching at this point and in my mind, I was going to do whatever it took for us to be a family even though, his father was abusive, struggling with substance abuse, and would cheat—I thought I could fix it all!


At the time, I became pregnant, I was a worship leader. Yes, even those in ministry struggle with their flesh. I was in serious emotional pain and confusion, but I led worship every Sunday and I praised God! This is truly where I deeply learned how to praise Him during the storm, and let me tell you—I praised Him! I never missed a Sunday—I kept moving forward and put on a smile that I call “Gods smile”, because without Him, it would not exist!


About a month after I had my son, his father became physically violent on top of all the verbal abuse. He didn’t want to be home, sober or faithful. Every weekend, I obtained a new bruise to replace the one that faded from the time before. His face would literally change and I saw Satan in his eyes. In the midst of Satan trying to break me down, I got right back up. Literally, he would throw me across the room, and I would just stand right back up. I didn’t hit back, I just kept getting back up to face him. Maybe it was a mistake, because it angered him even more, and made the situation worse. But, I had been in abusive relationships in the past where others often blamed me for not standing up for myself. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I wasn’t going to just lay there anymore.


Well, yep—even 6 months later—I still wanted my family to work, but the abuse continued to get worse, and as it did— I did my best to hide what was truly going on in my life. It did help that he wasn’t home much though. Months after the birth of my son, I started going to therapy because he started making me believe that I was crazy and needed help. I sure did need help, but not the kind of help he expected. I didn’t admit to the physical abuse because I knew my therapist would have to report it, and—I was beginning to believe, that I provoked it, therefore—in some way, felt I deserved the way I was being treated. My therapist was a Christian woman, and she helped me see that I shouldn't blame myself because it wasn’t my fault. It took me about 2 more months to kick him out for good—not because of therapy, but because my son got hurt. Most of the time I got hit, my son was in his bedroom, or—I wasn’t holding him at the time when his father became violent. However, this time—he pushed me hard while, I was holding him and his 6th month old little head, flew into the door, leaving a bump that swelled. My thinking at this point was, “It’s one thing for me to be abused—I can take—but for my son to get hurt, it is not OK!” It was extremely difficult because no matter how much you don’t like being abused, you’re so messed up mentally you don’t know up from down. But, I kicked him out and got an order of protection. It has been almost 8 years since that day.  


Unfortunately, we still have to deal with him, but thankfully—it’s from a distance. He still continues to struggle with his flesh, and we continue to pray for him. He’s not very involved father which, is a blessing because he’s not healthy enough even to be a part-time father. I forgave his father years ago, while I was still healing, because it’s not about how I feel—that’s the key to growing spiritually. I want my son to know God is the reason for the path that we are on in life. With all my heart, I want him to know God the way I have come to know Him, so he doesn’t waste his life floating through the world encountering or causing pain because of his own pain or confusion.


God has taught me that forgiveness is not only for me, but also for my abusers. He showed me how they were at one-time victims too. I have learned such a depth of forgiveness with understanding that I never knew before. God has given me strength to realize why I got into abusive relationships. He has healed me, and now uses me to help others! All of the evil that I have encountered, and participated in—He now uses for the good of strengthening me spiritually and others! Today, I not only minister to my son, but also to those in recovery from all kinds of traumas. He uses me as a mind, body, and soul coach to all. He has given me the ability to relate in ways that many cannot. This trial was painful on many levels, but it brought me closer to God, has become part of my purpose, and is one of my favorite testimonies!



Surya's Facebook    LinkedIn    YouTube Videos

Suryanycole@gmail.com






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15Apr

A story of hope and inspiration---Marcus Stanley, was touring with a major recording artist when they decided to stay at a hotel on the west side of Baltimore, Maryland for the evening. Marcus, left the hotel to get some food and a drink at the nearest gas station however---it was on this walk into the night that Marcus's life changed forever. Marcus's amazing videos of his testimony on YouTube and CBN's The 700 Club can be found after his written story--- as well as links where you can purchase his worship music.



"O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me."  (Psalm 30:2)

"Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  (Mark 9:23)

 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,"  (Revelation 12:11)


Marcus Stanley (Minister, Pianist, and Speaker)

Marcus Stanley's Site


Your life is a gift. Everyone that is still alive has a testimony. The purpose of this message is simply to share hope. Hope that no matter what you are facing in life--you will survive.


I was in Baltimore, MD touring with a major recording artist when all of this happened. We were supposed to stay at the Hyatt Hotel downtown by the harbor, but all the rooms were taken because of a sporting event that was happening the same night. So, we had to stay in west Baltimore in a rough area of town. It really didn't make a difference to me because, I've been in hotels all across the country good and bad. When I check into a hotel, I kind of have a pattern of doing things no matter where I am. I drop off my luggage---I joke around with the band for a little bit and---I go to the nearest gas station to get some junk food (Gatorade, Waffle House, IHOP)---Whatever is open and then, I come back and relax. This day was no different. 


I walked outside and headed towards the gas station which was about three blocks away. As I walked through the second block, I could see six guys standing on the corner talking to each other looking in my direction. I really didn't even pay them any mind, I just kept walking towards the store. Just then, I realized that I left my wallet in my room and turned around to head back to the hotel to get it. My best friend Lydell, who was a drummer in my band at the time, told me to stop going places by myself. I told him that I was good---like I normally do and went back to the store. I went past the same group of guys and they were watching me again. I continued to the store and got my usual Gatorade, candy, junk food, and headed back to the hotel. I came past the same block, and the same guys, immediately came towards me. Strangely, the whole street was clear and no one was on it like I saw just a few minutes before. By the time, I figured out that they were a gang, the leader came towards me and said, "What you doing out here homie"? I just turned to him and said, "I'm chillin' bro" and kept on walking. They circled around me and asked, "What's up with that phone"? At this point, I knew it had nothing to do with the phone or nothing that I said or did, had anything to do with what he was asking me. I figured they were going to rob me, so I didn't even respond---I just told them it was off and put it back into my pocket. Really, it was off though---Sprint had cut me off for being over my account spending limit. 


He walked closer to me and...right to my face said, "Well, you got to roll out homie". At that point, he pulled out a .45 caliber gun from his jacket, and pointed it directly at me point-blank range. I didn't even have time to react. I heard the first shot---ONE---and saw a bright light from the gun that blinded me, and I fell immediately to the ground. Then, he stood over top of me and said, "Peace out homie"! He fired seven more shots into my body---TWO---THREE---FOUR---FIVE---SIX---SEVEN. Instantly, I saw an angel appeared in front of me. The angel looked transparent, and it was kneeling down with his arms crossed in front of me as if, every bullet was going through the angel. I knew it couldn't have been a figment of my imagination because, I had no time to even think about this. I had no time to think about anything other than the pain that I was feeling from every single bullet that was going in my body. When he finished shooting me, his other boys picked up the shell casings that had fallen to the ground around me and they laughed and joked with each other about how they just "smoked" me. Right then, I heard God speak to me..."Do not move"! It was really strange because, I wanted to yell---I wanted to scream---I wanted to breathe---I wanted to know if I was alive, but I couldn't do it. They were still looking at me, so I just laid there & didn't breathe. My eyes were still opened, but they were fixed---even though, I felt pain all across my body. For the first time in my life, I felt no pain from even not breathing which, was the strangest feeling I've ever felt. That's how I knew, God was right there with me. As I continued to hold my breathe waiting for them to leave, I felt the blood all around me. When they finally ran to the car, they drove off at full speed---it was then, that I was able to take my first breath. I remember softly yelling--"OH, GOD...GOD". I looked around me and saw the pool of blood and holes in my shirt. I tried to stand up, but couldn't. I couldn't feel my legs, so I dragged myself off of the street and onto the sidewalk---literally crawling. I tried to flag down cars to stop and help me, but nobody would stop. People slowed down and kept going. It was literally only me and GOD!


I had a moment where I had my life flash before my eyes. I thought about everyone that loved me---I thought about my own funeral---I thought about the things that I should've said to my family and the friends that I didn't tell---Just then, I remembered that I had my cell phone still with me. My hand was completely covered in blood, but I still managed to dial 911. When the operator came online, I told her that I had been shot and she asked me where I was. Thankfully, I was lying right next to a street sign, so I could give her an idea of where I was. She tried to keep me talking, but I really couldn't because I was losing my breath every minute that went past. Eventually, about five officers showed up. One walked toward me and asked me my name and how old I was. After that, they drew lines around me and put up police and crime scene tape setting up a perimeter. This is where my faith really had to step in though. Even though, all around me it looked like death--I had to SPEAK LIFE. I began praying for there was nothing I could do, but that. The ambulance got there about seven minutes later, and loaded me in. Immediately, they began cutting off my clothes and hooking me up to all kinds of machines. This was actually the first time that I saw the gun shot wounds. At that moment, tears started to flow from my eyes---my body just looked dead---like I shouldn't be alive, but I was. I heard the EMT say to her partner, "I don't think he's going to make it". It hurt me to hear those words, but I tried to hold onto life. By the time I got to the hospital, they rushed me down the hall into surgery. When I arrived in the room, it was the strangest scene that I've ever seen. The room was lined with nurses, doctors, police officers, and other hospital employees looking at me in disbelief---almost as if, all that they heard on the radio about my condition---they were stunned that I was still alive. The lead doctor whispered in my ear..."I'm about to give you some anesthesia to put you asleep for the surgery. Can you sign this paper for me"? Oddly enough, I was able to sign it---and did pretty good---I did so good, that the doctor joked and said, "For someone who's got shot all these times you sure do have a good signature". Right at that moment, I looked in front of me and saw people standing at the door, people surrounding all around me, and then I saw the same angel that I saw on the street---He was standing in front of me with his arms folded looking at me nodding his head as if to say---"Everything is going to be alright". Right then, I felt a peace upon me---I relaxed my breathing and fell asleep. When I opened my eyes, I saw tubes all around me, I heard beeping, and sound from all the machines. I saw bandages across my chest. I thought to myself---I'M ALIVE! The first thing that I thought was---HOW IN THE WORLD WAS I ALIVE? There was a nurse standing to my left and she looked at me right in the eye & said, "YOU MADE IT---YOU MADE IT MARCUS"! 

A doctor came in the room, and told me that I was lucky to be alive. I knew "luck" had nothing to do with it. He proceeded to tell me that he performed an eight hour surgery on me and removed half of my stomach, my whole spleen, half of my small intestine, reattached my colon, removed half of my pancreas---I just looked at him in disbelief, but I believed him. I found out later that my doctor FOUND GOD THROUGH MY SURGERY---HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE DID THE SURGERY BY HIMSELF. 


TODAY, I CAN WALK---I HAD TO LEARN THAT OVER AGAIN.

TODAY, I CAN PLAY THE PIANO---EVEN THOUGH, I LOST THE FEELING IN MY RIGHT HAND.

TODAY, I CAN WALK IN PEACE BECAUSE GOD GAVE ME PEACE DURING THE MOST CHAOTIC TIME IN MY LIFE. 

TODAY, I KNOW THAT GOD IS A HEALER! 


Psalms 30:2 "O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me".                                                                               

And, Mark 9:25 says, "Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  

 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,"  (Revelation 12:11)


Do you believe? I know that I do! I encourage everyone that reads my testimony to DO GOD NOW--NOT LATER! A common misconception is that you need to clean yourself up before you come to God, but the truth is, you just have to come to God and He will change you.


God bless you all. God keep you and remember that GOD IS SOVEREIGN. GOD IS BIGGER THAN EVERY PROBLEM AND EVERY SITUATION! 


Purchase Marcus's CD's & Download Songs on:  Google Play    Amazon     itunes          

Marcus Stanley is on:  Facebook    Twitter     YouTube                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

This is Marcus's testimony that he did on YouTube.  Please share his testimonial videos on any social media site that you can--to bless others with this incredible "God-story"! 



Marcus's Testimony was shared on CBN's The 700 Club. 



This is one of many of Marcus's songs. He is a very gifted pianist!  













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30Mar

Shelley Sherrill was an extremely timid and shy Christian girl that never seemed to fit in leaving her feeling defeated, judged, severely depressed, and bullied. Even though, Shelley knew Jesus...she began to stray away from Him. A vision of hell began to change everything.



“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”      (Luke 1:45)


**Shelley's testimony is from her YouTube channel giving many hope, encouragement, and faith in Jesus.** 





Shelley is a Fashion Boutique Owner of Estersair in Houston, Texas. 


Shelley's written testimony:


I grew up in a Baptist church and accepted Jesus as my savior when I was 7 years old. As a child, I never really gave God too much thought because I had a wonderful childhood and two loving parents who always provided for all my needs. It was my teenage years that were very difficult and lonely. I stood out like a sore thumb because of my strong convictions to abstain from pre-marital sex and alcohol. Because of that and the fact that I was extremely timid and shy, I never seemed to fit in. I was bullied and severely depressed during my junior high and high school years, but my hope in Jesus was what always kept me strong.


Even though, I was a complete loner and had no friends, I always believed that God had a special purpose for my life. My passion was to be in the fashion industry, and I had hopes to one day become a model. I pursued my dreams for years, and when I was 22 years old, I was chosen to appear on a reality television series featuring Paris Hilton that aired on MTV. The show gave me a platform to share my faith with many celebrities and millions of people on national television and radio. I believed that show would be my big break that would catapult me into my destiny, but after it aired, no more opportunities or doors opened for me.


Instead, I graduated from my hometown university with a business degree, and set out to a new job in corporate America. Once I moved to the big city and got my own apartment, I stopped attending church altogether. There were so many things that pushed me away from the church. I was judged harshly because of my interest in fashion and I felt like people were so fake and judgmental. I began to despise everything about most of the people I knew that called themselves "Christians." I felt like most of them lived defeated lives, following a bunch of rules, and there was so much judgement, hypocrisy and arrogance among them. I became frustrated and disappointed with “Christianity”, so I decided to get a taste of life outside of the church.


I began attending work happy hours and before I knew it, I was constantly clubbing, drinking, and engaging in sexual sin. This lifestyle ushered me down a road of dating abusive men and enduring horrific heartbreak. I realized that type of lifestyle was incredibly empty, and I found myself just wanting to have a family. Fortunately, I met my amazing husband Gary at age 26, and settled down to a life with our three children.


During this time, I did not associate myself with Christianity. I still questioned everything I had once believed about God. I had so many doubts and so many unanswered questions. For years, I was content to just not understand. But then, the rain came.


After the birth of our youngest daughter, Hartlee, I struggled with severe postpartum depression. Even though, I had an amazing marriage, beautiful children, and so much to be thankful for, I found myself in a pit of despair. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me, but the depression was so overwhelming that I feared I couldn’t bear it much longer. There was a gaping hole inside of me and I knew that nothing in this world could fill it. I began to think back to the time when I was younger and so on fire for Jesus. I didn’t have much back then, but I was always happy, at peace, and hopeful for the future. I heard the whisper of God telling me to come back to Him, and inside the deepest part of my soul it was what I, too, wanted. But fear told me that God didn’t exist, and if He did He would not be pleased with me for my rebellion and lack of faith. I believed it would be too hard to repair my relationship with God because of all the mistakes I had made, but the deep longing inside of me decided to give it one more shot.


I got down on my knees in my bedroom and began uttering the first prayer I had said in years. I remember how pathetic I felt, talking to a God—I wasn’t even sure existed. The first few sentences were difficult, but then I just began pouring my heart out. In that moment years of pent up frustration and heartache came flooding out as tears began to soak the carpet beneath me. Moments after praying, my husband returned home from work and we decided to go out to eat for dinner that night. At the end of the meal, our waiter handed us a receipt and informed us that someone had paid for our bill. Written on the receipt were beautiful words of confirmation that God had heard my prayer. I went home that night knowing that God was real, but there were still so many questions I needed answers to.


It’s funny how scriptures will pop into your mind at the exact time you need to recall them. I kept remembering Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” So, seek, I did. In my search for truth I ended up coming across YouTube videos of people who had near death experiences and witnessed visions of both heaven and hell. I was obviously more drawn to the ones about Heaven, and I can remember watching and crying tears of joy and hoping so earnestly that what these people were describing was true. I began to wonder if God might give me a similar experience. My faith was so weak, and I knew that if I was going to follow Jesus, that this time around had to be different. I needed an unshakeable Matthew 7:25 faith, so even if the rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew against it, it would not fall. 


Again, I was reminded of the scripture in Hebrews 4:16 that instructs us to approach God’s throne of grace with boldness, in order that we might receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. So, I went to the Lord and asked Him if He would allow me to experience a supernatural vision. I honestly did not believe that God would grant a request of that sort, but I was truly desperate to strengthen my faith.


Days later, my husband and I traveled to Los Angeles for a vacation to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. While there, I ended up trying a bite of an edible marijuana candy. For hours, I felt completely normal, but at the end of the night, while seated at our hotel restaurant eating dinner, the most overwhelming feeling came upon me.


I began to enter a mental simulation of eternity in hell. The fact that I was in hell was just a knowing in my spirit, much like I know my name and the color of my eyes. They aren’t things that I have to think about, they are just simply known to me. I began panicking immediately and asking my husband how we had died. I couldn’t remember dying. He tried to calm me down and assured me that we were in fact alive and it must be a side effect of the marijuana. As much as I wanted to believe him, he could offer me no comfort. In hell, comfort doesn’t exist. Love doesn’t exist. Your mind is in a perpetual state of remorse of conscience. Imagine every pain, sorrow, shame, guilt, and hopelessness you’ve ever felt on this earth and then magnify it to an unbearable level and that is what I was experiencing, without end. In hell, you are painfully aware of who you are without God and it is horrifying! I felt the gulf of separation between me and God and I wanted to pray and ask for help, for forgiveness, but I knew my pleas would be pointless because He could no longer hear me.


I hoped that the side effects might wear off if I began to eat my food at the restaurant. I remember ordering ravioli and a coke to drink. The ravioli tasted like cardboard. The coke tasted like salt water. Food and drink had lost their flavor outside of the presence of God. I was aware that in God’s presence are all things good—love, hope, peace, comfort, joy. The scripture is true that apart from God you can do nothing. You are nothing. God is the source of it all!


The same way I knew I was in hell, I also knew I was in eternity. I knew that the condition I was in would never, ever change. I think that may have been the most tormenting part of all; knowing that my decisions on earth and lack of faith in Jesus had led me to this place, and it was too late to turn back. I remembered everyone who had ever told me about Jesus, and I was grieved about the choices that I made to rebel and disbelieve. I thought about my children back on Earth and how I would never see them again, and how heartbroken they would be if they knew their parents had ended up in hell. I wanted so badly for one more chance to come back and change my life, and truly choose Jesus this time.


That night, I went to bed still in hell, and in the morning when I woke up the vision was over. I was so incredibly grateful to be alive and to have another chance at living my life, but I was completely terrified at what I had experienced. Fear told me that God allowed me to go through that to punish me, but I knew in my heart it was the answer to my prayer.


I knew that I needed to grow closer to God and that certain changes needed to be made in my life, but I was still terrified and uncertain of God’s love for me. With legs shaking, I fumbled towards the Lord like a baby fawn learning to walk for the very first time. Fearing God’s wrath or a stern chastising, I was truly astounded as instead, Jesus gently kneeled down to groom me.


I began praying and reading my Bible on my own for the first time in my life. This time I wasn’t going to be influenced by outside doctrines and opinions. It was just me and Jesus, searching the scriptures together. As I read my Bible, the words were no longer just ink on an old page. The words were alive, and they were breathing fresh life into me. As I began to spend time in the Word of God, gleaning knowledge of who Jesus truly was, I fell head over heels in love with the Savior. So many people will portray God as angry, displeased, disappointed, and distant, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The more I got to know God, the more I wanted of Him. I began fasting and praying and asking the Lord to reveal to me things I should know about Him.


One day, alone in my closet, as I was seeking the Lord through prayer, I asked Jesus to fill me to overflowing with His love! That day Jesus baptized me with His holy fire, and I received my heavenly prayer language. I began to speak in a new tongue, and as I prayed in tongues I was overcome with emotion. It felt like my entire soul was bare-naked before the Lord, and I began sobbing uncontrollably. As I ceased from praying in my prayer language, I began praying in my regular language and thanking Jesus for His goodness. Suddenly, I felt the tangible presence of Jesus surrounding me, and filling me.


I felt as if I were standing in heaven, overcome with the feeling of peace, joy, and happiness permeating my entire being. In the presence of Jesus is pure bliss. In that moment I knew that Jesus was truly alive, and it was like He was looking at me as if I was the only person that existed. I knew and felt how much I was loved by Him and I was astounded by how kind, merciful, and beautiful He was. I also knew that every answer to my prayer was “YES!” Jesus was saying yes to all the deepest longings and desires of my heart. I literally began to leap into the air with joy and excitement. I couldn’t contain myself, and began shouting “PRAISE YOU JESUS! PRAISE YOU JESUS!” It was a moment I will never forget, and I so very look forward to the day when I can actually see sweet Jesus face to face.



That day the power of God truly touched my life in a way that changed me forever. This journey with Jesus—the second time around—has been completely different. I no longer let other people’s opinions or behavior interfere with my personal relationship with God. I now know that in Christ there is freedom instead of bondage, and I am now fully aware of God’s great love for me and the power I carry because I am His. My life mission is to now help others understand their identity in Christ and God’s true heart for them. Since rededicating my life to Christ, the Lord has graciously allowed me to experience many other supernatural things. I have seen the actual glory light of Christ, I have witnessed angelic visitations, and I have been given many prophetic visions and dreams. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus is the Christ; the one true living God, and the only way to the Father in Heaven. My prayer is that you will reject any idea or experience that has placed fear or doubt of God’s goodness into your mind, and be filled with knowledge and wisdom of God’s truth.


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