I was baptized on December 15, 2019 by Pastor Willie at the Set Free Yucaipa church. An act of faith and open repentance. I had no idea what was to follow this repentance and was not in any way prepared for what God was about to do in my life. I look back now and can only explain it like this...if I was allowed an enounter with Satan, then of course God's going to show up and show out in my life. That is the only way I have been able to wrap my small minded human understanding around the last 5 months of my life.
I want to start by sharing a few prayers I have prayed and still do pray, from the time I gave my life over to Christ in October 2019 to now. My first prayer was for restoration of the relationships that Satan stole from me, specifically my mom, step-dad, and biological daughter. The second prayer was for God to remove anything and anyone that was in my life that could seperate me from Him ever again - thoughts, behaviors, substances, feelings, people, etc.) My third prayer was for a hot heart and that it never grow cold. And my fourth prayer has been that the Lord allow me to repay Him 10-50-100-1000-fold, specifically for every life I was used by Satan to help destroy, may I please be allowed to lead 50 times what I robbed Him of. I know I can never truly give back to the Lord what I cultivated into death and the hands of Satan. I know it wasn't me, perse, it was the Father of Lies working in me; I know that the Father of Life dwells within me today and I just want to serve Jesus in whatever way He calls me to do this for the rest of my life.
So let's start off with my showing off God! I reluctanly wrote my mom when I was at the Lake Elsinore Women's Ranch, for fear of rejection, but the word of God says that "Faith without works is dead." So I stepped out on what faith I had, wrote the letter, sent it off and layed the outcome at His feet. Then on a really tough day, I received a letter in the mail, it was from my mom. All I could do was rejoice and weep. I could feel her pain and cautious reserved and hesitantcy in her letter, with good reason. She's known nothing but lip service from me for 25 years. I am proud of her faithfulness to the Lord, I will tell you that. I wrote her back and on Christmas Eve I received another letter from her, this time a Christmas photo and a phone number to be able to talk, yes actually talk to her! Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose" (ESV). We spoke for quite a bit and we prayed together and my cup had runneth over that day. But He wasn't done showing off! On December 26th, my dad called me form Arizona looking for help for a kid he came across, who needed help. I could only direct him to Set Free Needles and did what I could do with phone calls, layed it at Jesus's feet and watched Him make a way for that kid, which of course He did! The young man was picked up and brought to the men's ranch in Arizona. But it's not over, He wasn't done showing off! What else could I have thought of, not what was about to happen...a visit from my mom and step-dad at the Set Free Yucaipa church on a Sunday. And not just any Sunday, the last Sunday I was going to be spending in Lake Elsinore. My 11th hour God, showed up and showed off with such magnificance, healing, compassion, kindness and mercy! His grace is so alive in me, beyond my wildest dreams and understanding. He is the God of restoration and then some. Since my move to Set Free Needles the relationship with my mom and step-dad is as if we were never not together. I know I am held by a kindness of my Father who will never give up. And since I have been here in Needles, He restored my biological daughter, Josie, back into my life. We finally connected and for the first time in her life and my life, I got to pray for her and with her. WHAAAAAT! Just to be able to do this was enough, but my God is a show-off. Now her and I connect on the YouVersion Bible App and have done a couple bible studies together, again more than I could have ever imagined.
After my baptism something happened in my prayer life, something very powerful. My faith was strengthened by my prayers. I was on the frontlines of God's Army battling against whom He delivered me from, the Father of Lies. Women would come into the discipleship program so very sick, both physically and spiritually. There wasn't much I could do within my own power to help them, my only answer was Jesus for them. Prayer, prayer, and more prayer. And let me tell you, my God showed off so much that I knew nothing was impossible for God. I got to lead several girls to the Lord through the prayer of salvation. I saw the darkness fade in their eyes and the Light begin to shine in them. I got to see Jesus bring dry and dead bones to life. I had an amazing enounter with the Lord my last weekend in Lake Elsinore through a woman who came in kicking 4 grams a day of heroin. She was very clear that she didn't believe in God and truuly wanted nothing to do with God or Jesus or any prayer. I had the priviledge of spending 2 intense days and nights with her while she was kicking. She begged and begged for the pain to stop. I continued to remind her the Great Physician wants to reveal Himself to her if she'll just let Him. On the last night I spent up with her, which just so happened to be the Saturday before I was to get the visit from my mom and step-dad, she broke. As I was playing Hillsong Worship music on the computer and rubbing her legs, she asked me, "Please will you just do it!"
"Do what?" I responded. "Pray for me, just pray for me please." What a privilege and honor that the Lord presented me with such a gift to pray for this woman, a professed Atheist, like me, who wanted nothing to do with God, just as I had lived, asked me to pray over her. She eventually was lead into the sinner's prayer with another woman from that ministry.
Genesis 50:20-21 says, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear, I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them" (ESV). But He wasn't done with me that night. As if it couldn't get any better right! I mean who would have ever thought these worthless hands could be used to heal people. So He showed me who I am in Him. As I sat at the office desk reading the Bible and praying fervently for the woman, not only did He show me in the Word who I am but He showed me physically. Isaiah 61 speaks of the Good News of Salvation. Yes He directed my eyes to Isaiah 61:1says this, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..." (NKJV). As I finished the entire chapter I paused, I extended my arm and hand out toward this woman lying on that couch in the office and I interceded for her. My hand became uncontainably hot, so hot I was able to place them on her spasming calves and watch God heal her before my very eyes. Kim Walker Smith sings a song called "Love Has a Name" and in that song she sings "We will fix our eyes on the One who overcame; We will stand in awe of the One who breaks the chains; There's a joy that truimphs over fear; There's a laughter that wipes away all tears; There's a presence that changes atmospheres; There's a name; Love has a name; Jesus." He is the only reason that woman slept and ate and was set free. I don't know her status now, but He does and He used her to show me His power that weekend. I was bathed in His Holy Spirit and anointed with a powerful phrophetic gift of healing! Not just physical, but spiritual healing. My hands always light up with this intense heat when I intercede for others, when I lay hands on others and when I worship Him in song. He has anointed me with His Holy Fire!
And finally, when I came to Set Free Needles in January 2020, this ministry was getting ready to have their first Vegas Evangelising event, which I got to be a part of. We went to Vegas twice before the National Lockdown due to COVID-19. At those 2 events I got to lead 18 people to the Lord in the sinner's prayer, just me personally. Many more came to know the Lord at an alter call. My hands were anointed with oil by an older gentlemam at the first event. He came over to me and asked to see my hands, anointed them with Holy Oil from Jerusalem and prophesied over me, saying "The Spirit of God is upon you and your hands are anointed by the Lord. They will heal many people and will be used only to serve the Lord." Just out of the blue, he spoke these words over me. I was overwhelmed because I didn't understand what I did that was so great that He would choose me to do His work. Then a few days later, I recalled Isaiah 61 and 2 Corinthians 1:21, "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God." Another song that comes to mind by Jesus Culture, called "You Won't Relent," another way the Lord confirmed what He is doing in my life each day.
I'm not great at addresses when sharing the Gospel, so I challenge you to find it in the Word of God on your own; I read somewhere in the New Testament that we all have the power inside of us that Jesus had through the spiritual gifts we are offered; the question remains, what I am going to do with these gifts that He so graciously offered to me? Will I use them? Will I share them with all who will hear? In Revelation 3 Jesus spoke these words several times, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." So in the words of Jesus I leave you with that.
Until next time, May the Spirit of God be upon each and everyone of you! We are all the Isaiah 61 story, what are you going to do with your precious gift???
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