Friday, November 26, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Chris (youth pastor)
"I have felt wounded, confused, and quite angry. I have been doing an amazing job of pretending I've moved past it all, and able to even convince myself. God has shown me that all the "stuff" that resides within me is affecting my thinking, attitude, and emotions. I often find it difficult to concentrate. At times, I avoid God's Word because of what I believe He will probably have to say. God is, not has yet, but is, seeting me free. I am working to hear, listen, and obey. It is happening. this thing God is doing, is going to happen in my life. I don't need a bigger God. I need to trust and believe in the big God I have."
"Since the summit at Berean back in May of 2010, I have reconciled with my mom. I asked for forgiveness for disobedience and rebellion in my teens. She wasn't all that thrilled and convinced by my request for forgiveness, but in the months since, God has given me a host of opportunities to show my sincere repentance. My love for my mom has grown and I have felt freed in ways I have not known in the last 30 years since leaving home!! Thank you, Lord!!"
Cindy (woman attending our THIRST conference in Mansfield, Ohio)
"I have been wearing a mask. I was doing all the "right" things or at least trying to appear that way to my church and my family. Meanwhile, on the inside, hating myself. I felt lonely and so I fill that with food, cigarettes, alcohol, and an angry heart. I treat my husband and my children in a way that I am ashamed of. I feel as if they should be in the pit with me, I guess. After the teaching on having a clear conscience, I spent an emotionally exhausting 2 hours confessing to my husband and praying together. I feel emotionally raw today, but finally feel as if I can break free. I don't have to live everyday in secrecy. I am on my way to seeking God and His forgiveness. I am realizing that I am so much more than my past mistakes and that God is in the process of remaking me."
"God has found me THIRSTY, and not really aware of how close to total dehydration I was. I have been upset with my wife for not meeting all my needs. I was causing strife in my teen's life, so I'd work 14 hour days because it was easier. I was my own idol. God has dealt with me through this conference, and now, my burden is light, my marriage has hope, my wife is special to me again, my teenager doesn't avoid me, and I refuse to substitute myself for God. I now know where to be refreshed. Thank you."
"I was torn before the conference. Half of me was so excited about the conference that I couldn't sit still, and the other half, honestly was dreading it more than anything. The message on Sunday about Idols and Substitutions was directed at me. For the last ten years, I've been saying, "I'll be happy when ______." I was looking for anything and everything from alcohol to a husband to a baby to fill in that blank. My low point was over this summer after leaving my job to stay at home with our infant daughter. I felt lost and very depressed. I denied it, of course, because I have a "perfect" life. Except that what I was filling my cup with didn't fill it at all. Then I realized that I'd been missing what is supposed to be the most intimate and fulfilling relationship attainable. Thank you very much."
Sunday, October 31, 2010
"God found me defeated, discouraged, and disgusted with God's people, and I'm the pastor. We needed to come to a place, and I personally needed to find myself, where our complete dependence was on Him. We were a church that was filled with divisions and devilish ways. BUT, the Holy Spirit moved in and through strong Biblical teaching, much prayer and persistence, in a miraculous way!! Lives are changed, families have found new love, men have learned to pray and lead, ladies have become filled with joy, and youth have a renewed passion for Jesus. These eleven days at Summit will forever be remembered as the significant time in which God changed our church all for His glory!!!"
And so we move on to Barrie, Ontario, to Emmanuel Baptist Church, where we are currently ministering in a 4-day THIRST conference. We trust He will move in our midst again, praying for the ultimate desire, revival among God's people!!!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
"The Lord is Moving in Our Midst
by Pastor Craig on October 13, 2010
God has been moving in some mighty ways here in the last two weeks. All for His glory. There have been many who have testified of what God has miraculously done in their lives. There are those in our midst who have confessed sins and asked for forgiveness. Many of these sins are those that we often keep hidden and pretend to play church and we make things appear as though everything was just fine in our lives....the masks are coming off and people are getting right with the Lord, right in their relationships - it is truly the work of God. There has been adultery confessed, addiction to pornography confessed, pride confessed, bitterness confessed, controlling behaviour confessed, and so much more. Relationships are being restored - husbands are coming forward and confessing how they have not loved their wife as Christ loved the church, wives confessing that they have not respected their husbands, young people confessing their need to trust in Christ in the things they are pursuing. This transparency is so powerful, the Lord is glorified through confession, repentance and ultimately restored and revived believers. May God receive all the glory!!!"
Thursday, September 23, 2010
This weekend, Revive Our Hearts, an outreach ministry of Life Action, will host 6,000 women in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the 2nd True Woman Conference of 2010 with speakers Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Mary Kassian, Joni Eareckson Tada, Janet Parshall, Crawford and Karen Loritts, Fern Nichols, and Dannah Gresh. What a wonderful time it will be as these women gather to seek the Lord together!!!
Would you continue to pray with us for the Big R? Revival in our nation!! As you do so, continue to pray for the little r!! Revival in the hearts of men and women and children, and revival in the churches we are ministering in, SO THAT the Lord can bring about the Big R!! Revival once again in our land!!
Dear friends, unconfessed sin is crippling the church!!! One important truth that we have learned as a family is that the power of sin lies in it's secrecy. When sins are confessed, both to God, and to those we've wronged, we can live with a clear conscience, and begin to reconcile those relationships. We have a greater freedom to love and worship God, and we can be a greater witness for Christ.
We want to share with you, a testimony from one couple...
"Coming into this conference, I was below rock bottom. I had had an affair just one year into our marriage. That was 19 years ago. I was going to take that incident to my grave without telling my wife. God revealed to me during this conference that it was time, past time, to take care of my sin. Tuesday evening after the service, we put our kids down to bed, and I confessed my 19 year old sin to my wife of 20 years. She forgave me as did God. We are going to a Christian marriage counselor to help forge a path toward reconciliation, trust and honor. Had God not stepped in, suicide was on the near horizon for me. God has given life back to my dry, dead bones. My road, and my wife's will be challenging, but the price I must pay is nothing compared to the price Christ paid for my salvation. Thanks for being honest, open, and transparent with us. Otherwise, I most likely would be in the same frame of mind as when your team came in on Sunday."
"God found me frustrated that my husband was so depressed / angry at his situation in life. I was also stressed about work and the kids. This week has been great!! I feel refreshed and excited about what lies ahead for us. Last night, my husband told me about a "one night stand" he had very early on in our marriage and how that was a seed of sin that had been damaging him from the inside out. Only because of God and His great forgiveness and the testimony we heard at the ladies luncheon and last night, I was able to readily forgive and seek a greater oneness in our relationship. Thank you God for this ministry and the change it has made in our home even today. Thank you for arranging the circumstances for us to attend the whole time. You are an awesome God!! Oh, how many obstacles you cleared to make this happen!!"
Here's another testimony from a wife...
"God found me in a rut. I had plenty of head knowledge, and had seen God work in amazing ways in the past, but was very frustrated with my life, my prayer time, my marriage, and my parenting. Several things I heard this week were duplications of three book's messages I have been reading recently. I knew all the Biblical answers, but was still dry and empty. Then one thing was said at one of the evening sessions (Monday night), that brought a sin to my mind that I had been avoiding, forgetting (on purpose), and excusing. The "little" frustrations (and big hurts), all stem back to this one sin. I have kept this financial sin from my husband. I had not even confessed it to God!! This gross lie may cost me my marriage - it will definitely be a major strain. But I know I can no longer keep this from my husband. After the ladies luncheon, I pray he can forgive me for this. What a release when I confessed it to God today and asked my husband for some time alone with him tonight. Already, I know this has been the one thing hindering my Christian walk!!"
There are many more examples of God moving and working and we praise and give honor to the only One who deserves it. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Sharing God's heart for the Church,
Ryan and Mal
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The dictionary defines it as something "difficult to accept" or in describing a person, "angry and resentful." What does this have to do with what we do? We have just ended an 8-day summit at Berean Baptist Church in Mansfield, Ohio and we were overwhelmed this past Sunday with over 50 people coming to share by way of testimony how they were responding to what God was teaching them through the course of the last 8 days.
Many issues were shared, but the one thing that stood out repeatedly was individuals recognizing and confessing bitterness in their lives, either toward a parent, a child, a spouse, or another indivdual. Many of them didn't even realize that they were bitter in their heart. They were unwilling to accept the circumstances or individuals that the Lord had brought into their lives. Many were bitter towards God, and didn't even realize it. God has set so many people free this week, and we are in awe of all that He has done!!
The Life Action staff and the staff of the church met on Sunday afternoon and determined that the Lord wanted our team to carry over one more night, so we actually finished the conference last evening with more testimonies. We have heard over and over again in the past four days comments like "My life will never be the same," and "Our home is changed," and "I am free from the bitterness," and "Our relationship with our kids is sweeter than we ever imagined," and "I sought forgiveness and I now have a clear conscience. I feel like I'm soaring!!," and "We are not the same family today as we were at the beginning of this summit."
One woman came to the microphone and shared that she had not spoken to or seen her parents in 24 years, and they live in the same town!! She didn't know where in Mansfield they were living, so she got online and found her mom, drove to her apartment, and sought her forgiveness for the years of bitterness and anger she had held against her mother. She then drove to the nursing home where her father was, and sought his forgiveness as well. She asked her father, "Dad, do you know who I am?" He said, "Yes." She shared what she needed to, and he forgave her!! She made the comment last evening that she felt as though she was soaring. Free from years of anger, bitterness, and resentment. But now she's free!! Praise God.
85 men come to pray!!!
Tom and Marie Nesbitt from Ames, Iowa, were with us teaching on the family, and Tom met with the men of the church every morning at 6 am teaching them to pray the Scriptures back to God, and then teaching them to take what they were learning back home and pray with their wife and children. Many men came forward Sunday morning and evening sharing how the Lord was using this prayer time to show them that they are to be the spiritual leaders in their homes, leading their wives and children in the study of the Word and in prayer. Many men came in a spirit of humility confessing that they had not been the priest of their homes as God calls men to be. What an awesome time we shared together as a body rejoicing over what the Lord had done!!! We praise His name, and our whole family would tell you, "This is worth livin' in a trailer for!!!!"
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
wife and mother -
"Before this conference, God found me locked up!! I didn't realize it until the conference, but I always felt held back in my continued growth in the Lord. I've learned this week that as I obey, and take the steps required of me according to His Word, He moves and displays His enduring grace and faithfulness. Jesus, my Lord and Savior, has revealed my hindered growth. In the past, my heart had been broken, so I locked it up and could only give it to God. But He has now set me free!!!! He is enabling me to give my heart to my sweet, wonderful, dear, husband!!! I now trust not only my Lord, but I am free to love and trust my husband as well. God has unlocked my heart and I am free!!!!"
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
How profound!!! I'll let you read the testimonies for yourself:
"I have been married for 30 years, but I've been happy in it for 3 days!!! When we arrived for service the other night, my wife and I were sitting in the foyer. She leaned over to me and shared with me that she needed to confess something. She proceeded to tell me that she had been unfaithful in our marriage 20 years ago. Nedless to say, I was quite shaken, and did not know how to respond. It was time to go into service, and Ryan preached on the importance of having a clear conscience. H explained how to extend forgiveness when we're hurt, and how to seek forgiveness when we hurt others. The Holy Spirit knew what I needed to hear!! I have been able to forgive my wife, and we've had the best week ever in our relationship!! Praise the Lord!!"
"I come here each week with a smile on my face, but my heart has been so full of anger and bitterness. You never see it, because I'm really good at wearing a mask, and not allowing anyone in, but I must tell you, my heart has been as black as this shirt (he was wearing a black shirt). The Lord is cleansing me through a new love for His Word and I'm beginning to feel free!!"
"I came in here this morning (Easter morning) mad at my husband. We didn't even sit together. I just went and sat with my girlfriends. Anger has been one of the constant demons in my life and I am determined to be rid of this sin. I truly want to be a godly wife and mother. Please pray for me as God continues refining me through the His Word."
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
We're looking for better methods, and God's looking for better men, and once He gets them, He may touch down.
We want you to hear several testimonies of changed lives amidst the people of God.
"Before this conference, God found me angry, hurt, and bitter. The week of the Life Action summit marked the 9th anniversary of the death of our first son, just 2 days old. The weeks prior to the summit, it was discovered that my wife had been unfaithful to me. Through the messages and daily 6 am prayer times, God revealed to me how I had failed. I was able to express my anger to God and give it to Him. I was able to claim I Thessalonians 5 and give thanks!! I discovered how my anger and bitterness tore down my wife which caused her to seek compassion elsewhere. I now have a new love for my wife and my marriage is better than ever!! Praise God!!"
"I am a man who thought I was living a good, Christian life. But, because of the truths taught this week, I have seen the pride in my life and I have needed to clear my conscience. I had to go to my wife and my son and ask forgiveness for the things in my life that I thought were covering my sin. I have learned how to pray and lift up Scriptures in prayer. Most of all, I have asked God to forgive me for my sin against Him. "
"I have been bitter and searching for answers. I was brought up in church, married a man my family adored, and saved myself for him and my marriage. I recently had a miscarriage. I work in a neonatal intensive care setting and see young girls having babies each day that they can't care for. I was able to thank God for placing our baby in our lives for 3 months. I was also able to thank God for taking our baby. God has awesome plans for my husband and I. I now long to worship & talk to God continuously throughout my day. My future is in his hands."
"I have been a bitter, prideful, selfish mother. I have been unwilling to allow my husband to lead our family. I was afraid he would make the wrong decisions, and he doesn't seem to be saved. God told me to do what he asks of me and he would handle my husband. I just need to trust Him and just sit at His feet."
"I have been working very hard with many church responsibilities which have left me tired, weary, and dry. I knew I was failing in the most important areas as a wife, mother and teacher of my children. Still, I wanted to run from these most important activities. God told me He would give me the power. I can't do it on my own. The kudos from others don't satisfy. Only God can satisfy."
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
"I struggle with a drug addiction that has nearly claimed my life several times. Today, I have been clean for over 6 months, but I still struggle with the wreckage from my past and the deep rooted battle with sin in my life. The Lord, through the Life Action team, and by His power and grace, has awakened me to the hope and knowledge that I can serve our Lord Jesus Christ in a mighty way despite where my addiction has taken me. I have been convicted of the hate and selfishness in my heart, and the team inspired me to give all of myself to the Lord. I am now praying diligently for God to give me guidance and show me how I may be of service and further the message of the gospel to those who are currently where I once was. God has begun to work on my heart and break the pattern of me seeking to satisfy my selfish and sinful desires, and my wholeness is found in Jesus Christ."
"Before this conference, God found me lacking in joy. There were many things I was continuing to put before Him that hindered my dependence on Him. I truly wanted more intimacy with Him and I have been brought to His throne in a new and refreshing way, trusting Him for all provisions and realizing I was not giving my husband the place of respect I should."
"I have been bitter and angry with my husband. We are both believers, but we are struggling big time. These nights "and the ladies luncheon have reminded me of the steps I need to take. The words and notes are invaluable to my quiet times. I must go slowly through the list of things I need forgiven of. My husband doesn't treat me right, but I have been wrong. God held me accountable for me. Thank you for laying a path out for me to follow. Today for the first time in a long time, I sense a mustard seed sized bit of hope in my heart."
"Following Sunday, I was convicted about how I had allowed my mornings to become more involved with the world than with God. The next morning, I refused to check e-mail, voice mail, or even watch the news. I filled my morning with prayer, meditation, and eating breakfast. I was missing my time with God!! That has changed!! Folliwing the 2nd day of the conference, I used the message handout to read through the Scriptures. I discovered so many sins in my life. Hours of Scripture, reflection, and prayer now fill my mornings. I know this is something I really needed. I soon expect to have a church to pastor. I will never forget this revival time. Thank you."
"Thank you for getting my attention!! I have been saved for nearly 20 years. I go to church regularly and tithe. However, I'm far from where I know God wants me to be. In regards to my time, talents, and treasures, there is so much more I can and need to do for the kingdom of God. I think I'm beginning to get it finally thanks to four straight days with the team. Thank you, Lord, for waking me up and refreshing me."
"The most important thing God has revealed to me this week is in the area of forgiveness. I have been married for two years, but the whole first year, we were separated. The enemy led me to believe there was someone better for me. I was committing adultery and wasn't even thinking twice. God has brought me home and He has set me free from my sinful nature. I know that I am forgiven and my husband and I are working on our marriage with Christ in the center. He deserves all the glory because only He can fix a broken soul."
"God has spoken to me about resolving the issued between my father and myself. He (God) has told me to write a letter to my father several times and express my feelings, but I have been stubborn. I would write the letter, but always failed to put it in the mail. Well, that has all changed today. I wrote the letter, but not as harshly as the past ones. I asked him for forgiveness and told him I forgave him. I have every intention of putting it in the mail first thing tomorrow. Maybe, I need to write it several times to get it just right. Thank you, God, for everything you have done for me and everything you will do."