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Author Topic: My Testimony  (Read 4790 times)

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Stacey

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My Testimony
« on: January 03, 2010, 04:51:17 PM »

My Testimony,

As a child I was brought to church with my Grandma and sent to church by my Momma which I do not regret one bit. When I was a youngin (thatís what Grandma called us) I was happy to go to church just to be with kids my own age and play. I got saved probably more times than I can remember! It was a good experience but when I reached my teenage years, you know the ones, I knew everything and didnít really need churching any more. In fact, I had grown to despise the church in all my wisdom and I hate to say this but, I did not love God. I had no doubts that God was God, I mean, I knew He was real and that the Bible was for our  instruction but thatís about as far as I wanted to go and I left the church, walked away from God and decided that if God had an issue or wanted to find me then He knew where to look!   

I got married at the ripe old age of 16. Yeah, I know, thatís young, but when youíre as smart as I was (lol) then you already know, I had it all figured out.  Now hang on a minute, I am very happy to report that I am STILL married to my loving wife of 25 years. She deserves all the credit, I gave her a hard time. I love her very much and hope that she will come and join the forum one day too! We had a lot of ups and downs but not the kind you might think. We hardly ever have had an argument, most of our troubles circled around finances and the like. Not too many family members believed we would last very long and with each passing year we earned their respect concerning wether or not we were going to make it. I met my wife at the ripe old age of 10. We lived in the same neighborhood. I wrote her a note one day and told her that we were going to get married and have babies but, you know when you are 10 and the girl you love is 12; you are the last thing on her mind and she laughed at my love note, poured blow bubble juice on it and that was that....till a few years later, hah! Now I said all l this because it plays a huge part in my  testimony. Remember that I walked away from God and church. So, some years later, in all my wisdom and knowledge that I had collected over time, I came to be a drunk fisherman barely making it from paycheck to paycheck and from drunk to drunk. My wife on the other hand begun to go back to church and tried on many occasions to get me to go with her to no avail. A fellow fisherman who was also a local preacher came around every so often to try to intimidate me into coming to his church but I think he finally got the picture and gave up on me. Not my wife tho. She just kept nagging and nagging me to come with her to church. I thank God for that nagging very much! I cannot thank God enough for my wife!

So there I am, a drunk and in a drunk, late one night. I had finished a beer and was going for another one, opened the refrigerator door and.....a voice as clear as a face to face encounter says to me, ĎYou donít need that anymoreí. Now, me being a beer lover had no intentions of agreeing but all I can tell you is I reached for the beer, heard the voice, starred at the beer for a minute as if maybe I did not really hear what I heard, knowing full well that I DID HEAR, and then I shut the door and went to bed. Now that wouldnít have much of an impact had I got up the next day and went back to the same old me which by noon or a little after, I was needing my first beer. Noon came and went and still no desire of a beer! That day I poured out the rest of my beer and walked away from drinking completely. Praise God! If you know drunkard then you know that the only way that could have been possible is by Gods hand. If it was left up to me, I had no intention, desire or want to, in any shape, form or fashion even to cut back on, much less quit my beer all together. Iíve heard many many times over the years that nobody ever fully recovers from alcohol addiction. Well I donít believe that for one minute! Also, I knew that God had found me and He had an issue to take up with me! I knew that my deliverance from drinking, even tho I did not ask for it, was a gift and a sign from God. I knew that I was, after that night, going to go to church with my wife.

My wife had been attending one of the local Baptist churches and they were having a revival meeting. She asked me to go and to her surprise I agreed. I didnít know it at the time but it was just then at that point in life that I was beginning my journey to Bible Truths. We went to the revival meeting. The Traveling Evangelist that was speaking was a well spoken fairly young man bout 35ish and he is telling a story about an encounter that he fully believed that he had involving angels, IN A BAPTIST CHURCH! I had never heard of such a thing myself  being brought up a Baptist. I believed all those kinds of things never happen these days and that those sort of things only happened in the days of the Bible but, I believed the Evangelists story, how could I not? I had encountered my own angel of a sort just a few nights before through the voice I heard. I knew a great change had happened in my life that I had absolutely nothing to do with! I could not explain it, only live it.

After that night at the revival my wife says to me, Ďso what do you think, are you gonna join the church with me?í I said no but, I think I would enjoy looking for a church for us to go to together. Well she was happy, I was happy, my mom was happy to hear her son had stopped drinking and was looking for a church so much that she joined us in the search. I knew we needed something different in a church just not what exactly. A different denomination maybe? We went to a non-denominational church one day and wow! The air was filled with excitement. Iíd never seen so much goings on in a church. There was CLAPPING, the preacher played a Sax, there were men playing electric and acoustic guitars and a drummer. It was awesome! I got all choked up and teary eyed, I believed in my heart we had found a new church home and we stayed there for a good long while. The preacher taught a slightly different kind of message. Although he did believe in tithing, he never passed an offering plate. There was a box by the door you could put your tithes and offerings in and that was cool to me. He taught that there was no such thing a secret rapture and he could prove it. I took hold of that like a GI Joe with the kung fu death grip, I loved it. Something different, a new way to believe, a revelation that I knew beyond a doubt, it was true. While we were members there we were all challenged to expand our understanding. Every year they would give out a Bible calender that you could use to read the Bible from cover to cover in that year if you stuck with it. I did, for three years. Man some of the Old Testament books are tough to get through! The preacher and his wife were great people and pushed the members to build on your personal relationship with God. Well, when that took root with me, that is when my troubles with the church started and a deeper search and understanding for the hidden treasures of God began!

I decided it was important for us to give to a foreign ministry and had one in mind. I wanted our church to give to and help that ministry and asked the preacher about it one Sunday morning. He cut me off like a light switch! He bluntly stated, we canít afford to give to any more ministries and that was that. I was offended greatly because I was a hard core tither and not only a tither but a giver also, you know, the amount you right the check for OVER AND ABOVE what you OWE in tithes. I thought that I was part of the program and had a voice there! I was pricked, pickled, angered, and hurt. It was EXACTLY what I needed. I prayed, studied and read my Bible daily but was troubled about this problem I was having dealing with the foreign ministry thing. We just could not afford to give any more money other than what was going to our church and I so wanted to give to the foreign ministry. I prayed even more asking God to show me a way out of that and more of His truths, to lead me, even if it meant learning that the truth was different than I knew it to be. Remember that voice from a while back? It came back again! One day while reading my Bible the voice, again as clear as a face to face encounter said to me, Ďdo a study on tithing.í Without delay, I began a word search, verse by verse every one concerning the tithe. I could not believe what I was learning. I was enlightened, excited, I got mad at the church, and I was happy, I had to tell my wife! I was at work offshore at that time, this was a few years back, I called home and asked my wife to do a search on the internet concerning tithes, she said there were thousands and thousands of links concerning exactly what I had found in the Bible about tithing. That tithing was unscriptural was from that point on, no doubt to me. When I got home and did my own internet search on tithing I came to a L. Ray Smith site. Wow, oh my word! Can this guy be for real? He not only nailed the tithing thing down with a big hammer so much better than I had but all this other stuff....the LOF series and everything else. Wow, L. Ray had letters written to famous talking heads of the church and he spoke to them with such conviction and authority! He was against the grain like I had never seen it before and and I loved him! His sarcasms, his humor, his ability to express the wisdom that God gave him in a way so appealing and easy for me to grasp. What could I do now? How was I going to handle the new understanding that God brought me to? 

Sadly, not very well. I got brain overload, the message was so powerful to me it drained me. After all the trouble my dear wife had went through to get me back in the church I knew that I had to once again, leave it. This strained our relationship. My wife wanted to believe but could not take that step to leave the church and join me in all the new found truths. My relationship with my mom was and is to this day not the same. Other family members think Iíve gone off the deep end. I didnít care as much about the other family members opinions as I did that of my best friend, my confident, my soul mate, my wife. I struggled to keep my thoughts together, to keep on keeping on the road and well, I slid off the road a bit. No, that is not the same as falling off the wagon! I had to make a choice. I could not keep sliding one way or the other on the truth and the only reason that was happening in the first place is that I needed desperately guidance and even tho I was a member here then for a short time a long time ago, I was still too proud to ask for help. My decision was to wait it out and see if God would do something, He had already done so much maybe, just maybe the voice might say something. Nope, no voice, nothing. For a long time, nothing. Why? I donít know.   

My wife and I are no longer a member of any church. She still goes to church every now and then and I have even agreed to go with her but that is not what we need to be doing and we both know it. We have two grown and gone from home children and a six year old. Who says God doesnít have a since of humor huh? He, the six year old is so not like our other two. He just recently came to his Momma and said ĎMomma, I want to be born againí, how does a six year old child come to that conclusion without being in a church or without any outside influences? I tell you I believe the voice came to my son the six year old! God truly does work in mysterious, albeit wonderful ways, in His time on His dime and that is the way it has always been and will always be no matter how we all might have it to be! That is one thing I know for sure wether or not I have a full understanding about it. My wife sayís to me, what are we going to do about J.T?  (Our six year old) I tell her, well I tell ya what we ainít gonna do is allow him to go the same route you and I have gone through the church. We are going to teach him the truth and let the cards fall where they may. Praise God, she agreed with me and this has all taken place in the last month and what can I say except I know God has found us again and he has a few issues that Iím sure He is about to address with us, once again, praise God. Please pray for us! 

Just a Lump of Clay,
Stacey
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Stacey

Ninny

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2010, 05:44:31 PM »

Wow! Stacey, that is an amazing testimony for sure! thank you for sharing that! I know that stumbling around in "the wilderness" for awhile tests a person's stamina! God just leads us where we need to be and gives us what we need along the way! I have always said that I view everything I've done and every place I've been as part of God's leading me. I have never regretted being on this journey I'm on, even though at times the paths that lead to God are full of weeds, thorns, and snares..but God is there and He will guide us all the way...hey if He doesn't guide us, then he just grabs hold of us and drags us..we'll get there one way or another!!!  Thanks again for sharing and you can count on me for prayers for you and your family!!
Kathy :D
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Kat

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2010, 05:48:03 PM »



Well now, Stacey that was well written, I really feel like I know you now.  You certainly seem to be on the right track.  About all I can think of to say is not to worry about how things will work out, just take things day by day and do the best you can. A six year old, well he must be and absolute joy to ya'll. Your wife sounds like a wonderful person and I hope she will join you here someday, soon  :)

mercy, peace and love
Kat

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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2010, 06:09:08 PM »

That is such a wonderful testimony Stacey!

Please forward my affection, compassion and encouragement to your dear wife.

It was my husband who put me on to Bible Truths on the Tithing paper Ray wrote. I was preparing a Tithing study that I planned to circulate and was stopped in my tracks by the edifying Truth. 

I cannot say I have heard a voice that is audible, but I can attest to receiving communication that is so clear and penetrating, that voice mail pales by comparison.

As for your son, yes, it is a wonder how he has come to know that he needs to be born again. God is preparing a people for His Kingdom.

Your love story about your wife is enchanting.
 
I do know that husbands that honor their wives are prayerful husbands.
 
1Pe 3:7  Likewise, husbands, live together according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, the female, as truly being co-heirs together of the grace of life, not cutting off your prayers.

Arc
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 04:23:22 AM »

Thanks Stacey.  I enjoyed the read.  In some ways I've shared your experiences, and in other ways not, but I have seen in my time at BT the way God tailor makes a way for each of us. 

Psalm 104:24  O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

I am guessing you have a southern accent.   ;D ;D ;D
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Marlene

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 05:15:19 AM »

Wow, and so amazing! God never ceases to amaze me! When, we look back at our life we see that God has directed every step we have taken. Awesome, you have  a 6 year old who wants to be born again.  God is in control , even if most of the world thinks he is just sitting there waiting to give us our just dues. He is working in us. Glad, you felt comfortable sharing your story. I have a few family members who think I am lost in a cult.

Your wife sounds so nice. Looking, forward to hearing more from you.

In His Love,
Marlene
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Stacey

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 06:43:52 AM »


Wow! Stacey, that is an amazing testimony for sure! thank you for sharing that! I know that stumbling around in "the wilderness" for awhile tests a person's stamina! God just leads us where we need to be and gives us what we need along the way! I have always said that I view everything I've done and every place I've been as part of God's leading me. I have never regretted being on this journey I'm on, even though at times the paths that lead to God are full of weeds, thorns, and snares..but God is there and He will guide us all the way...hey if He doesn't guide us, then he just grabs hold of us and drags us..we'll get there one way or another!!!  Thanks again for sharing and you can count on me for prayers for you and your family!!
Kathy :D

I have no regrets either. Speaking of weeds, you and I being from the Southern parts of Alabama know a thing or two about weeds don't we. You may be familiar with one in particular or if not, I'm sure you have seen it on telephone poles and lines in a lot of places. That ugly green weed that wraps itself around every thing it comes in contact with. Its name is Cudzoo. It serves only one purpose, to choke and kill every thing it touches. Spiritually speaking, if at all possible, we all gotta watch out for and chop the Cudzoo that tries to grow up around us to hold us back and choke us down.  :) Thank you for your prayers



Well now, Stacey that was well written, I really feel like I know you now.  You certainly seem to be on the right track.  About all I can think of to say is not to worry about how things will work out, just take things day by day and do the best you can. A six year old, well he must be and absolute joy to ya'll. Your wife sounds like a wonderful person and I hope she will join you here someday, soon  :)

mercy, peace and love
Kat



Thank you Kat. I've said on more than one occasion that JT is either gonna cause us, my wife and I, to get in really good shape to keep up with all his energy or, put us in an early grave!  :)  Yes, he is a blessing. My wife is Super Special, in so many ways I wont try to list them all here. She is the kind of person that anyone needing an ear for a while loves to find.


Quote
That is such a wonderful testimony Stacey!

Please forward my affection, compassion and encouragement to your dear wife.

It was my husband who put me on to Bible Truths on the Tithing paper Ray wrote. I was preparing a Tithing study that I planned to circulate and was stopped in my tracks by the edifying Truth. 

I cannot say I have heard a voice that is audible, but I can attest to receiving communication that is so clear and penetrating, that voice mail pales by comparison.

As for your son, yes, it is a wonder how he has come to know that he needs to be born again. God is preparing a people for His Kingdom.

Your love story about your wife is enchanting.
 
I do know that husbands that honor their wives are prayerful husbands.
 
1Pe 3:7  Likewise, husbands, live together according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, the female, as truly being co-heirs together of the grace of life, not cutting off your prayers.

Arc

You can believe that I will be passing on your request to my wife! Thank you.

Thanks Stacey.  I enjoyed the read.  In some ways I've shared your experiences, and in other ways not, but I have seen in my time at BT the way God tailor makes a way for each of us. 

Psalm 104:24  O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

I am guessing you have a southern accent.   ;D ;D ;D

Amen Dave! One day we'll all be a finished, tailor made product of God!

Boy howdy, how'd you guess it so rite bout my southern talkn' Some how I, I musta gave it away.  ;D

Wow, and so amazing! God never ceases to amaze me! When, we look back at our life we see that God has directed every step we have taken. Awesome, you have  a 6 year old who wants to be born again.  God is in control , even if most of the world thinks he is just sitting there waiting to give us our just dues. He is working in us. Glad, you felt comfortable sharing your story. I have a few family members who think I am lost in a cult.
Your wife sounds so nice. Looking, forward to hearing more from you.

In His Love,
Marlene


Me either. I think some of mine feel the same way. Oh well, can't please every body all the time can we? She is a kind gentle person. The kind everyone likes to have as a friend. Thanks for your kind reply.
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Stacey

barrabus

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 10:00:36 PM »

Great testimony Stacy... I'm kind of at the place you described so well... my wife is perfectly happy at the local Baptist church and our life is so much better than it was before... now I am starting to not attend the church like I used to and she thinks it is a bad thing... I drank a lot also... when I quit drinking I felt like I was the only one on the planet that didn't drink... my experience was similar though differant than yours, I too had God take the desire to drink completely away, I didn't even want to quit drinking at the time... anyway now that my perception of God is continuing to change I no longer feel comfortable in our old church... I am active in a 12 step program because I am allowed to believe as I choose, and I get to hear a lot of differant viewpoints also... and maybe I can be of help to someone else... God has really blessed us during the last six and a half years that we have been sober, now if I try to say anything bad about her church she feels threatened, she never went to AA... we were both drunks... we both quit drinking at the same time... (we met in a bar in 1980 and stayed drunk together for twenty three years) ... I started looking for a church home and began tithing as instructed... 10%+...  I even tithed my income tax refund when we first sobered up... I kept it a secret from her at first, then after she became a believer and started going to church I told her what I was doing, she argued at first then she came around and now that I am changing she feels threatened again... I still give a little to the offering and all, but no longer feel obligated to tithe... what a relief... anyway, I'm really not trying to give our testimony right now... just saying how I relate to yours... Thank you for sharing it with us... Charlie
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Roy Coates

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 12:27:06 AM »

What a wonderful testimony. Not much different than mine. In fact probably very similar to many here. Nice to meet you. Thanks for taking the time to share. Peace
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Stacey

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Re: My Testimony
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 03:16:36 AM »

Great testimony Stacy... I'm kind of at the place you described so well... my wife is perfectly happy at the local Baptist church and our life is so much better than it was before... now I am starting to not attend the church like I used to and she thinks it is a bad thing... I drank a lot also... when I quit drinking I felt like I was the only one on the planet that didn't drink... my experience was similar though differant than yours, I too had God take the desire to drink completely away, I didn't even want to quit drinking at the time... anyway now that my perception of God is continuing to change I no longer feel comfortable in our old church... I am active in a 12 step program because I am allowed to believe as I choose, and I get to hear a lot of differant viewpoints also... and maybe I can be of help to someone else... God has really blessed us during the last six and a half years that we have been sober, now if I try to say anything bad about her church she feels threatened, she never went to AA... we were both drunks... we both quit drinking at the same time... (we met in a bar in 1980 and stayed drunk together for twenty three years) ... I started looking for a church home and began tithing as instructed... 10%+...  I even tithed my income tax refund when we first sobered up... I kept it a secret from her at first, then after she became a believer and started going to church I told her what I was doing, she argued at first then she came around and now that I am changing she feels threatened again... I still give a little to the offering and all, but no longer feel obligated to tithe... what a relief... anyway, I'm really not trying to give our testimony right now... just saying how I relate to yours... Thank you for sharing it with us... Charlie

Hi Charlie, nice to meet you. I gotta say if you are where I was, hang in there, it will get better. For starters, you are in a GREAT place here at BTF. I don't know about you but I joined for some fellowship with folks that believe in Ray's teaching and words of encouragement. To give some hopefully if I can and to get some.  :) I've heard about the 12 step program from a couple guy's I work with. They spoke highly about it. My wife didn't hardly ever drink with me back then it was mainly just me and my beer. I came from a long line of drunks, not passing blame but I always wondered if that really had anything to do with it. My Father-n-law tried really hard to get my wife not to marry me, first because we were young but mainly because he knew full well my family's history with alcohol. Thank God she didn't listen! Amen, what a relief it is to know for sure what the real deal is on tithing! I definitely would love to hear your Testimony when you decide to post it.

What a wonderful testimony. Not much different than mine. In fact probably very similar to many here. Nice to meet you. Thanks for taking the time to share. Peace

Hi Roy Coates, nice to meet you too. Glad you enjoyed it. Not much different than yours eh? Have you posted your Testimony? I see your not online right now, I'll look for it.
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Stacey
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