How has God worked in your life?
As a followup to the display of Jesus' power in Mark chapters 4 & 5 we asked the Grace family to share how God has been working in their lives. Take some time, read these stories and be encouraged . . . God works today in our lives!
My office is located in a shopping center in Canyon Country. About ten years ago I had a scrolling light sign in my window. At Christmas time I decided to put Matthew 11:28 on it, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Fast forward to Monday, 9/27/10. I was at home for lunch when there was a knock on our door. It was a woman who was looking for the owner of a dog that had shown up at her house. We didn't know of any one but introduced ourselves and my wife said I was the Chiropractor at the Sand Canyon shopping center. She started to leave. Suddenly she turned around and with teary eyes she told the story how about ten years ago she had just moved and was overwhelmed with stress and didn't know which way to turn when she saw my sign and it gave her the hope and strength to go on. She thanked us and went on her way. Sometimes the seeds we plant have results that we will never know about, but every once in a while when God opens a window for us to see what has happened it truly humbles us. Praise the Lord and Grace to all.
Being on the Global Media Outreach summer missions team has been an encouraging ministry for me. In this ministry, it is easy to ask yourself: Are these real people e-mailing me? Is this a sincere need they are sharing? Well, in my experience I have learned that as soon as you get a second response from someone, and they begin to open up on a personal level you begin to see - Wow, this is a real person behind the computer and God is touching lives all over the world and I have the privilege to be used in these people lives to encourage them in their walk with Christ! And what could be better than that! Below is a sample e-mail from a new friend via the internet: To: Rita From: Miya Thank you so much for your response, I found it to be very helpful ,I realized that I was stressed but didn't think it's that bad. I have been praying a lot and reading the word a lot more than I used to, and speaking to God about how I feel, thank you so much for encouraging me. I did go on the website you referred me to and I found it helpful too...
Malachi Dad's After going over a lesson at the So. facility of Pitchess Detention. We were praying with the inmates. Three of the seven guys in the group. Thanked God for being in jail. One for not having been released a week earlier. Another so that he was able to be their for the weeks lesson. Wow!!!
I recently joined a local (Encino) Army Reserve unit as a Chaplain Candidate.
Although not yet technically a chaplain, I have been blessed to begin building
relationships with the soldiers in my unit and to act as their chaplain. Last
weekend, at our monthly training weekend (what we call a Battle Assembly), we
experienced a change in command for our unit. The next day I led a chapel
service focused on Joshua 1:1-9 and talked about God's command for Joshua to be
strong and courageous as he took over command of the nation of Israel in the
place of Moses. Our new battalion commander came to our service, and was very
impressed by the lesson. I saw after the service that she wrote down some of the
key verses from the lesson, including Matthew 6 where it talks about trusting in
God’s provision and not worrying about the future. The next day, Battalion
Commander told me what happened to her after the service. Since she commutes to
the battalion from Portland, Oregon, she had told our Sergeant Major that she
wanted a wall locker in her office where she could stow some extra uniforms
in case the airlines ever lose her luggage on the way down for battle assemblies.
As a result of the lesson on Sunday, she had decided that she wasn’t going to
worry or stress about receiving a wall locker, but rather trust that God would
provide what she needed. However, immediately after the service, she returned to
her office to find a wall locker just like she had wanted. The strangest part of
the story is that no one but herself and the Sergeant Major knew that she wanted
a wall locker, and the Sergeant Major had not done anything yet to requisition a
locker. God certainly grabbed her attention, and several times throughout the
past week she pulled out the note on which she had written down the key verses
and told me how she had been reading them throughout the week. Praise God! And
please pray that God will do even greater things in my unit as we prepare to
deploy in the next fiscal year!
The story about how God has been working in my life lately starts November 3,
2008 when I was laid off from my job of 9 years. Though it wasn’t a shock, as
most of us saw it coming, it still was overwhelming. Besides the prospect of not
having a job in a slowly declining economy, I also was dealing with an adult
daughter who had a debilitating illness for over a year, with no means to
support herself, save my and my husband’s help, AND I was just over nursing my
own physical problems from falling and breaking my arm a few months prior.
Obviously the coupling of all these things brought about a steady fear creeping
up on me. Unfortunately, the dread of the unknown would stay with me for over a
year and a half. But with every hardship, there comes grace. During that time is
when God displayed His love, mercy, and provision that could only have come from
Him. As I sat in my back yard day after day wondering, worrying what was going
to happen, God brought this verse to mind: "Consider the ravens, for they
neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them;
how much more valuable you are than the birds! Luke 12:24 During the months of
unemployment the vacation money and small severance we were living on began to
run out. I was feeling “worthless” and “unqualified” as I looked for jobs almost
every day with no success. God provided, just in time, a contract job for
several months that not only paid the bills but allowed me to save up some money
just in case I didn’t get another job right away. Though I was stressed and
worried, “thanksgiving” was the word I focused on at that time, as I was so
thankful for God’s perfect timing in His provision. “Be anxious for nothing, but
in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be
made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7 Another
hardship that turned into a blessing was the ability to be there for my daughter
during a particularly hard time in her illness. It was a side effect of being
laid off that neither she nor I foresaw. But looking back on it, we know it was
God’s timing as she frequently tells me that she couldn’t have gone through such
a rough time without me. Once again God proved His timing was best. “Cast all
your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1Peter 5:7 And finally, just when
the “saved up money” and the unemployment money was about to run out, once again
God showed us that even when He is quiet, it doesn’t mean He isn’t working. I
was offered an interview. A blessing indeed since anyone who is looking for a
job during this time knows interviews can be few and far between. Late February,
2010 God used a Christian brother to get me in the door for that interview. I
struggled with pride for 3 days whether or not to take the interview for this
clerk’s position, since I have been in management before. At the end of the 3
days I finally realized that if God wanted me there it must be for a reason I
could not see and I would go to the interview and see what happened. I was told
in the interview I was over-qualified for the clerk’s position. But there was a
Systems Manager in the interview who was very interested in my resume, and asked
a lot of questions. I was offered the Systems job! WOW! It was a temporary job
closer to home, something I and my friends had been praying for years to happen,
and it allowed me to work under a Christian boss. What a blessing! That temp job
has now gone from being just a few months to looking like it will be at least
until the end of 2010. “Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What
will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' …….for your heavenly Father
knows that you need all these things.” Matthew 6:31-32 After 16 months of seeing
so much need in my life and finding so much fulfillment of that need, I know
there is absolutely nothing I could have done to make all these things work out
in the perfect timing God did. I give God all the glory and praise. “Praise the
Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my
God while I have my being…. How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God… Praise the Lord! Psalm 146: 1, 2, 5
At age 15, one of our grandson's fell head over heals down an 80 foot mountain. Because of
the remoteness of the area it took 3 hours for him to be rescued off the side of
a cliff. He was in a coma for 9 days but suffered no broken bones and only minor
cuts and scrapes. It was expected that he might not know anybody because of
severe head trauma. (The first thing he did when he came out of the coma was to
reach for his mother to hug her) We truly believe he was carried down that
mountain by angels as he is now 24, graduated college and praising God every
day. Churches from all around the world were praying for his recovery and God
DID answer their prayers.
In late 2007 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. The next 10
months she endured surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. But in the end, her
doctor gave her a clean bill of health. These 10 months of treatment left us in
quite a bit of debt. A year later Theresa developed a nagging cough that didn’t
seem to go away. She developed pneumonia which led to a chest x-ray and CT scan.
The scans showed spots on her lung and liver. This was followed by a
bronchoscopy where the doctor took a tissue sample from her lung. We waited for
the results and our biggest fear was hearing that her cancer had come back and
spread. While we waited for the test results, I became more and more troubled
about our financial situation. We were scraping by and still paying for the last
round of cancer treatment. I was also worried about losing my job. I realized
that there was nothing I could do to bail us out of the situation. If she was
diagnosed with cancer, there was no way I could keep driving to my work in
Ventura each day, and there was no way we could pay the deductible for our
insurance plan. That night, after the bronchoscopy, we prayed
together and gave these burdens to the Lord. We asked Him to take care of them
because there was no way we could. Two days later we went to the doctor’s office
to find out the results. Her cancer had returned and it had spread to her
left lung and her liver. We wept bitterly and held our two young daughters
close. When we returned home it was time to make some phone calls. My wife
picked up the phone and called her mother while I picked up my cell phone and
called my boss. I was going to beg that he would allow me to work from home
while my wife went in for chemotherapy. I’ll never forget his response. “No,” he
said. “That won’t work. I want you to work from home full time and only come in
when we really need you here.” I was completely overwhelmed and I ran back into
the room where my wife was on the phone with her mother to tell her the news. To
my surprise, she had the same astonished look on her face and she quickly told
me that her mother had sold some stock and was going to take care or the medical
deductible. We didn’t know if we were crying for fear or for joy. We had just
received the worst news imaginable and then God turned our heart ache to joy. It
was a moment we will never forget. But it doesn’t end there. Two months later my
parents stepped in and helped us to pay the debt we had incurred from the first
round of cancer. And then a Christmas bonus allowed us to face 2010 with enough
money to pay this years medical deductible. We have no doubt that the Lord
provided for us in our time of need. We would never have chosen to walk such a
road as this. But had we not been placed on this road, we never would have see
the Lord’s hand at work. God is awesome!
We normally worship on Sunday mornings, but a month ago we went to the Saturday service and found ourselves sitting near a couple we had never met. So, we said "hi" before the service and talked a bit. The topic of our Summer Missions trip came up and how the host organization was a Soccer outreach. The gentleman said, "do you need any soccer balls to take?" I said, "yes, why?" He told me that he would donate the remaining brand new soccer balls for us to take and share with the ministry. A few weeks later I picked up 36 soccer balls. More than enough for our team and shared with other mission teams as well. Praise God!
Through an anonymous donor, God provided for my son, to attend high school
camp this summer. We were unable to afford it since my husband has been out of a
job for over a year. What an enormous blessing that was!
We moved to Santa Clarita in 2007 from the San Fernando Valley. Before we moved we began praying for a work transfer from Burbank to Santa Clarita. We continued to pray through 2007...then 2008...then 2009. In June of 2009 budget problems caused work furloughs and freezes on hiring, promotions, raises and work transfers. My husband and I continued to pray for my transfer. I heard: “You’ll never get it!” “There’s a long waiting list!” “It’s impossible to get transferred!” “Others have even tried asking for less pay just to be closer to home.” On January 1, 2010 I received a transfer to Santa Clarita. I now work 15 minutes from home. God can open the impossible door when we think there is no way. Praise and Glory be to our Heavenly Father. Thank you Lord for answered prayers!
I have been in LA two months working on a
movie as a Grip. I live in Nashville Tn. The crew that I work with
are mostly unbelievers and incredibly worldly in every aspect of life. I knew
going in that this would be a interesting spiritual assignment and that I was to
look for any road to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with these guys. So far I
have had three or four opportunities to share my faith. These guys HATE religion
and have made it very clear to me. One of the guys said that he was sorry that I
had be around such terrible sinners and thought that maybe I was uncomfortable
being there. I told him that I loved being with sinners and that I was one
myself. The look on his face was priceless!!!! One of the guys who has been
spending allot of time training me, asked if he could speak with me about a
nightmare he had the night before. He told me a evil spirit was holding him down
in his bed and he was powerless to do anything about it. I took that moment to
share about what Christ has done for me, I also invited him to Grace Baptist if
he ever wanted to come. I find myself praying for these guys every morning on
the way to work. Please pray that the Lord give me more opportunities to be
light and salt to these men. On a side note I have been attending Grace since I
have arrived and have been encouraged in my walk. I also feel a connection with
Pastor Dave. I really love this body of believers!!!
God's sustaining power gets me through each work day, He gives me strength to
stand and be creative. But in personal ways He has allowed me to leave my
children to Him and really lay it at His feet. I'm at peace with them and take to
Him my concerns and instead of nagging them, I just listen and love them. It has
taken years but it is always in his perfect timing.
My boyfriend and I have been friends for over a year and dating for 8 months. We
each have a young child and are trying to blend into one family. We hit a few
struggles two months ago and we didn't know what to do to save our relationship.
I had been going to Grace for years and my daughter has spent her life at Grace.
My boyfriend hadn't been to church since he was child. He realized how much Grace and God mean to me so he agreed to try and see if his heart would be open
to welcoming God back in. Sure enough here we are a month later and several
services later and we are stronger than ever. God warmed our hearts, opened our
souls and has allowed us to share him as our strongest bond and connect on so
many deeper levels. We are blessed in so many ways and now we can appreciate
everything as a family. God bless you all and thank u for all the support and
By the Grace of God, and the prayers of the choir, my eyesight was restored.
I am doing the online mission for the "Summer Missions." Today I even received another email from Cairo, Egypt, saying they had accepted Christ. I have an ongoing conversation with a person from Ghana, as well as one from Chesapeake, VA. The Holy Spirit has led me in several cases to different verses and passages that helped them, and me. I know more about Christ than when I started, and I can't wait each day to see who God has brought my way. I have asked several people at church to consider enrolling this September when this mission will be opened to the congregation. Our God is AWESOME!!!
I'm so grateful to GOD for working in my life and seeing me through severe major depression. He has provided much support with caring pastors, doctors, friends and family. My condition is so much improved that tomorrow I am going off of one of the medications! Praise be to GOD!
God has provided for me more than I could ever ask for. He has given me a wonderful Christian wife and three beautiful children. He has given me a career where I can provide for my family and still serve in our church's AWANA program. Also, God has granted me many friendships by being a part of Grace's Passion Play for the past six years.