About me… Ann
I would love to be one of those people that can say that they have had that moment in time where they just knew that God Himself had stepped right down out of Heaven and personally rescued them. I would love to be able to say that I had one of those moments where it seemed as though Heaven opened up and the angels sang at the declaration of my repentance. I wish that I could tell you that. But the truth is, not all of us have a profound encounter with God. Some of us have a quiet personal encounter with Him. And even in that quiet moment where I met Him… God Almighty… my life changed forever. I had that kind of moment.
I have a friend that can tell you the exact date and time that they were rescued… the exact date they received Jesus into their lives. I can’t. I know that it was sometime in the mid 1970’s. I can’t say that the reason I didn’t have a profound encounter is because I “wasn’t that bad”. I was bad enough for a teenager in the 70’s.
It really is with thanks and gratitude to my parents that I had a solid strong faith foundation in my early years. My mom and dad were, and are, amazing people. They carried their strong faith background into our home. The imparted their faith to us. We learned from an early age. We were raised to not be ashamed of our love of God and His Kingdom.
But like most teenagers, I spent a few – okay more than a few – years off on my own. I did the typical party-girl antics. Things I should never have done, and truly do wish I had never done them. But, perhaps it’s those antics that have made me who I am today.
I found my faith again in the early 80’s when a not so good medical diagnosis came my way. Call it fear of dying and going to hell…. But I ran at breakneck speed back to Church where I became immersed and saturated in the love and forgiveness I received from my Savior. He didn’t chastise me for being gone for so long. He just opened His arms and welcomed me home.
Sadly over the years, I’ve experienced the end of a 20 year marriage, then widowhood from my second 3-year marriage. In addition, I’ve walked through near bankruptcy and the pain of loosing a young niece to brutal murder – at the hands of her sister. At present, I’m 7 years out from a cancer diagnosis. What I’ve found is that with each passing year, with each passing trial… my faith has grown deeper and more intense. I am hungry for the “things” of the Kingdom. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of Him.
Some might say, how can you love God if He allowed all that to happen in your life? To that I say… How can I NOT love Him for allowing all that to happen in my life? Just because I received His forgiveness doesn’t mean that life is going to all of a sudden become all sunshine and unicorns. Life still happens. Bad things still happen. Sickness, death, pain, grief, laughter, joy, sadness, and tears… they all still happen. The difference is… He is always there. He provides wisdom for the crazy. He provides solace for my bruised heart. He gives me a place where I can hide from it all for just a little while. He gives me courage to get up again tomorrow and face it all again.
So, this is my testimony. It’s not filled with fireworks and a brass band. All I can offer you is His Peace. I invite you to check it out for yourself.
About Me… Mike
I am the oldest of six children in my family, so my mother saw to it that I attended CCD, made my First Communion, and was confirmed in the Catholic Church. It’s interesting, I remember going to church every Sunday with my neighbor. He had a motorcycle and he would pick me up with the motorcycle and take me to church, he didn’t bring his own son on the motorcycle, but he brought me every week – a very fond memory.
So most don’t know this about me, but I was out of my parent’s house when I was 16 – never to return. I was on my own and going to church just wasn’t on my mind at the time. I was to say the least, a wild child. I did what I wanted, when I wanted and didn’t give much thought to anyone else, except myself and my survival on my own at 16 years old.
Some years later, I met and married my late wife. Church was still not on my list, even with our children, I had nothing to do with church. She passed in 2005. I remember thinking “there has to be more than this, what… you live on this earth, you die and that’s it? There has to be more”. I started going to church every Sunday. Of course all I knew was the Catholic Church, that’s were I felt most comfortable, so that’s where I went. It became my weekly ritual, this is where I went, and this is where I made my offerings.
So now we go forward to late 2008. That’s when Ann (a widow herself) and I started dating. It was on one of our first dates, that she asked me to go to church with her to a local non-denominational church. She had already shared her faith and her testimony with me so I said sure; I’d love to go… “but there aren’t going to be any snakes there right?!?!?!” She laughed and assured me that there wouldn’t be. That church and its people were so open and friendly, not what I was used to; I enjoyed it… and there were no snakes!
A year of so went by, and Ann asked me if I would take her to see a Christian Artist that was coming to town for a concert. His name was Chris Tomlin. Now keep in mind, my idea of a concert would be The Stones, or White Snake… something of that sort. I figured for sure that I was going to be sitting through hours of organ music and church choirs, I had never heard of this Chris Tomlin, I didn’t know what to expect, but said sure we would go.
That was the night that changed my life forever. Not only was I blown away with the music, but at that concert Louis Gigglio gave the message and an invitation. The more Chris Tomlin played, the more I let my heart go and I stood up and just praised the Lord and praised and praised and praised. And then Louis Gigglio gave a message and an invitation to give your life to Jesus and I boldly stood up and said yes! From that day, I have never looked back.
I questioned if there was more to this life than you live, you die and it’s over… oh no, there is so much more. This life, with all of its trials and life storms… with health issues, my own cancer diagnosis, kids that have run off the rails, financial issues… these are but a mere blip on the screen now. Now I look to the One that holds me through it all. I receive my strength from Him. With His help, I quit smoking after 50 years, I no longer gamble, or cuss, or drink. It is only through the blessings of God on my life that I now know that there IS “more than this”! God has shown me that He’s got me. My days are now filled with praise and thanksgiving. I wake up praising Him, I go to sleep praising Him; all day long I praise Him.
I would invite you to consider your relationship with God our Father. Eternity is a long time… Are you sure where you are going to spend eternity? There is plenty of room at the Cross for everyone. I would love to hear from you, feel free to drop us a note through our email.
Do you know Jesus? Do you want to know more? Contact me here or Click Here to read about Him and the new life only He can offer.