Anita : “This afternoon God spoke to me and told me to ask my prayer partners to pray for me and to have them pray for God to open my ears and to restore my hearing loss. They did and God did restore my hearing in the mighty name of Jesus. Hallelujah! Amen!”
Jason: “I led communion in my home Monday evening before coming here at 7 pm. I had never/we had never taken communion together at home. My wife was sitting in bed watching TV and my son was on his computer so I prepared juice and saltine crackers and called my son to go to the master bedroom where we could take communion (my wife, April has Systemic Lupus so I didn’t want her to have to get up). I didn’t know to lead communion but did my best. It was very special. I could feel the Holy Spirit’s presence while I was praying and the Lord’s joy filled the room. It was such a wonderful feeling – I can’t explain. We broke the cracker and ate and took the grape juice and drank in remembrance of Jesus’ broken body and shed blood. I thanked them for participating and went to rinse the glasses & plate. I then sat at the table and wept. My wife muted the TV and came and sat with me while I ate oatmeal before coming here. We talked and shared. There was a glow in her face and eyes that I haven’t seen in a while. It was so simply perfect! I am expecting total restoration. I do believe.”
Shawn : “God has given me a great peace in my life, my home and my ministry. A great peace for my children and grandchildren! Thank you Lord for your manifested presence in my life! I am confident in You. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Denny: “On Sept. 18 I received an email with a link to a TV news report showing the arrest of my 33-year old nephew. My heart grieved as I watched him being knocked down and handcuffed by police in riot gear. He had been born and raised in a very dark time of rebellion in my little sister’s heart, having grown up amidst drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality. My sister had 4 different men in the home during his childhood. At the time of his arrest he had a wife and two young children. On October 1, while Andy was sitting in a lock-down cell in Columbia, Missouri, I watched the Transformations video of the story of Manchester, Kentucky. Upon hearing the story of Steve Collett being saved and delivered from a life of drug addiction and crime, I said, ‘If God can do that for Steve Collett, he can do that for Andy Sercu!’ Our family began to intercede for Andy. Within 2 weeks he was led to Christ by his cell mate. God miraculously healed his eardrum which had ruptured during his arrest. November 2 was Andy’s court date. As we interceded for him, asking God for a merciful judge, Andy was released that very same day. He was a repeat offender facing 3 felony counts and he was given 2 years probation and released. He is reading his Bible and testifying of God’s goodness and grace and planning to be baptized as soon as he can. Praise be to God.”
Sue: “I’ve had many trials in my life. My oldest son is in prison; I left my husband a year ago; my children have suffered. But my GOD is GREAT! I trust Him to pay all my bills and my daughter’s bills in college – He always does! He’s working on my family. My second son was drinking every day. He flipped and totaled his truck and walked away from it with only scratches. He’s stopped drinking! My daughter just got accepted in the nursing program – it was her first time to apply at Mary Hardin Baylor. Many apply and only a few are accepted! God is blessing me and my family and showing me miracles. I’m expecting many more though. God is my ROCK and only way to survive this world. PRAISE GOD! He has just begun to bless us.
Estela: “Today my God answered my prayer of 8 years for my family that has been destroyed. At 8:30 am everyone hugged and forgave one another, only Jesus could do this. Thank you Father, Son and Spirit.”
Jason: “I surrendered my life to the Lord about 8 weeks ago. The Holy Spirit convicted me one Saturday morning and showed me the tragedy and destruction my life was headed toward. He consumed my heart and mind and revealed my wickedness and all my wrong doing, thinking, selfishness and blindness to so many of my ways. So I began my new life at New Life Community Church. It has been awesome to be revived an energized seeing new mercies daily. This walk has led me here to participate in Face to Face for 21 days. Words can’t explain the changes it’s making in me, my family, co-workers, boss, and everyone I encounter. I’m so thankful the Lord saved my life and is teaching me how to live trusting in Him to be a better husband, father, brother and friend. Thank you to all the pastors and their church bodies for the vision, commitment, guidance and encouragement. I love ya’ll!”
Rich and Lisa: “After praying and repenting about being failures as parents and for not giving our son the attention he needed and the lack of teaching him about the Bible, we asked and gave our son to God. Two days later our son cried out to God asking for forgiveness and accepted Jesus into his heart. We are so thankful for the opportunities to be a part of this process. We thank God for everything He has done and will do during this time. Thank you Jesus! Praise the Lord!”
Tammy : “I was hesitant to pray during the open mic time, but when I did both times so far, I felt it was really powerful. Both times, when I woke up the next morning, I felt different; I felt God’s presence and I felt like doing what I’d asked God to help me do the night before.”
Grateful Pastor: “A few days ago the Lord convicted me about how I had squandered so many opportunities to teach my sons about intimacy with Christ as they were growing up. I had made token attempts to ‘have devotions’ with them, attempts that were short-lived because they were rooted in token duty, rather than my own undistracted heartfelt experience. I confessed openly my sin before the congregation and pledged to repent before my two sons, ages 26 and 30. As I did so, on separate occasions, during our family communion, God gave me such a precious time with each one of them. I shared my life verses of Philippians 3:7-8, which have meant so much to me as a result of the 21-day consecration. My confession to my youngest son, Tim, was especially moving. He is a professional musician for a Christian artist, and travels and performs in many venues across the country. At the time he was involved in a pretty emotional discussion with the band leader and his manager about compensation. After dinner, I began to share my confession and repentance to Tim. I was broken in spirit, and slowly wept out my confession. Tears filled his eyes as he listened to me and I shared my life verses. As I began to share Acts 17:38, ‘In Him we liveâ€¦’ his emotions broke. He pulled out his chair (we were still at the kitchen table) and fell to his knees, repenting for his own lack of hunger for God. He confessed he had sought his own satisfaction in so many things other than Christ. We read Hosea 2 together and spoke of God’s jealous love in wooing us back to Himself. Tim hugged me and expressed gratitude for the many future opportunities we would have to learn together what it means to encounter our Lord. All glory and praise to our Lord and Savior!”
11-13-11 Gladys “My first is to know that Jesus assured me my sins had been forgiven. He gave me more boldness to speak to people about his love and share with them Jesus is the only way to heaven. He has met my every need since the first night and the offering was taken. I gave what I thought was my last $10. The very next day I was given $100 so praise God, he dies and will answer our prayer. He has removed all bitterness from my heart. He shows me that I am loved. Thank you Jesus.”
11-13-11 Anna “I have had a strained relationship with my oldest son. During all of this we have been asking God to forgive us and for us to forgive others. God told me I needed to ask for forgiveness from my oldest son. Today I did and he forgave me and we had a 2-hour long talk. This is the closest we have been in years and we are going to keep in touch more. Praise God! Also with this 21-day fast, I realized how much time I was doing stuff such as watching TV and not very much time with the Lord. I, with the help of Jesus, am bringing eating as a family at the table with the TV off and all distractions off. Spending more time with Jesus. Thank you Jesus!”
11-14-11 Dennis “From murmuring to faith. Where do I begin? I love to be in the presence of God and His people. That is why I came. My life is good. Beyond fellowship, what else could I possibly need? It was good to see long-time friends and ministers whom I have missed very much. What else could I be here for? Fast? Fast entertainment, TV, videos? Yes, I will fast the things that distract me from my Savior. Night after night I came until I realized why. Jesus wanted me there. In the course of watching hours of murder mysteries, violence, soft-made for primetime TV porn, I had become cynical, always expecting the worst. If something went wrong, my remark was Â ‘typical, to be expected.’ God hates murmuring and cynicism – separates us from His will to believe. Saturday night I came to the consecration service to find that the Spanish Church was having their service. They invited me to stay. The praise and worship was good and the word preached completed what God had brought me there to learn. I had learned to use God’s faith. I had learned to use His anointing, but what was missing was to live in the atmosphere of God’s glory. As the altar ministry continued, the Holy Spirit moved mightily upon me and I began to yield my life, possessions and ministry to Him. I had not experienced the glory of God like that in 20 years. I could hardly get out of my seat when it was over. You could have poured me out of a glass. I sat in my car for a long time. I didn’t want to do anything to disrupt the glory that was now following me everywhere. Â I slept like a baby. Thank you for this time of consecration and Bro. Gustavo for your timely word on the glorious atmosphere we are to live in.”
11-14-11 Tom “Our daughter, a freshman in high school, was really struggling in her pre-AP Biology class. So much so, that if she didn’t receive an “A” on a test during the first week of this 21-day Face-to-Face journey, she probably would have failed first semester. However, I believe due to her attending this journey with us, lots of prayer and a little help from a friend in studying, she received an “A” on her test. Praise the Lord for helping her and giving her a clear mind while taking this test.”
11-8-11 Norma On these days of fasting and praying, the Lord has given me more sensitivity and hunger for the Holy Spirit. He brings familiar union and inner strength. I have had communion and genuine repentance and hunger to seek Him in truth and spirit, to have more intimacy with Him and conviction to get closer to Him and seek more of His presence.”
11-14-11 Jason “I have surrendered my life and been diligently seeking the Lord and His will and purpose. I have been met with obstacles and endured ridicule but have pressed through and asked the Lord for strength, guidance and patience. He has taught and is teaching me to quit trying to control any circumstance or situation myself and to rely on him to handle them in His own time and way. The Holy Spirit is convicting me of all the things I do, say, possess and want, that are keeping me from receiving everything he has for me and fulfilling His purpose for me and my family’s life. I have sought the world and its pleasures and came away empty and suffered tragic life-changing situations and many hardships feeling disgusted, depressed and shame, but the Holy Spirit revealed to me my paths of destruction and tragedy and held me close and loved me, filling me with hope, peace, joy and a fire to seek God’s purpose harder than I ever chased the selfish pleasures of this world. I now have victory.”
11-18-11 Tom Approximately 3 Â½ years ago we (my family) “departed ways” with another church due to some very strong disagreements we had with the new pastor. Before we left, I allowed myself to become angry over the decisions, the teaching, and the changes taking place. Shortly after leaving, however, I was able to turn all my anger over to God, allowing Him to handle the situation how He chose to handle it. Although I’d felt at peace since that time, I had never contacted that pastor to apologize for the anger I allowed to build up during that time. During our time of prayer on the last night of the second week of the 21-day divine experiment, I felt God telling me I needed to call that pastor and apologize directly to him. The following evening I obeyed God’s voice and made that call. The pastor accepted my apology and said he very much appreciated my call. Although we probably still disagree with each other on how things were handled (we didn’t discuss this during the phone call), I feel God has put the final piece in place at healing the relationship.”
11-17-11 Wayne “As I have poured out my heart to God and repented for all the things He has shown me, He spoke to me in my spirit and told me to Â ‘Humble yourself daily in prayer and worship and to daily study My word and commit your thoughts and ways unto me and I will grant your petitions of leading you by My spirit. I will give you the wisdom I have as you have asked. I will grant to you discernment and power as you have asked. I will grant to you a fresh anointing of my Holy Spirit. I desire to use you as a vessel consecrated unto Me. I will use you to lead many to my salvation. You are my beloved child and I want to guide you by my spirit. Humble yourself and commit all your ways unto me.’”
11-18-11 Cindy “My husband and I have been in full-time ministry for 32 years, the last 16 as pastors of New Life Community Church. We moved here 16 years to begin a new church and started with two families (our family of 4 and another family of 5). Over the years of Â ‘growing’ our baby church we have seen many, many people come and go and our numbers increase and decrease. We have tried so many things over the years to attract people and to keep people, and have tried to keep up on all the latest gimmicks to grow a church. My dream was to have a big church with lots of people coming to it! I was sure this is what God wanted for us too! I have to say that this past summer has been the hardest in terms of the numbers of people who left for various reasons, some legitimate like moving away. The worst was that we had to Â ‘part ways’ with our part-time youth pastor and though that decision was made through much prayer and a unanimous decision from our church and district leadership, it resulted in several families with teenagers leaving. It has been very tough on me as I tend to take people’s decisions to leave our church very personally, like they have rejected me. Unfortunately I have allowed my own spiritual Â ‘temperature’ to be based on how things are going at church. If they were going good, then I felt like I was on top spiritually; if not so good, then things weren’t good for me either. Soâ€¦needless to say this 21-day Face to Face Divine Experiment has come at a very important time in my life. I guess I’d have to say I was finally desperate for God to move in my life and in the life of my church. We now see that we have been trying to operate in our own strength and to do things in an attractive way instead of truly seeking God and doing things the way He would have us to. We know that we cannot survive personally and corporately as a church body without the manifest presence of God in our lives.
11-20-11 Joni “God is so awesome! He has forgiven me from idolatry, selfishness, a lot of unhealthy habits and so much more. He has helped me to see how wicked I was and I have fallen in more in love with Jesus. I don’t desire things of the world or even food more than Jesus. Now I want Jesus’ presence more and Him more. I thank God for delivering me from self – pride – distraction. I am so happy and free! God bless you all.”
11-20-11 Lauri T. “Long story, but concisely put: During our worship time this morning my sister called and said that while she was praying, she felt led to check her air miles so that she could buy our son’s tickets home at Christmas as he goes to college in Georgia. Big blessing!”
11-20-11 Mark “Lots of freedom in my spirit and body. Lots of joy back in my life. My prayer life is very strong now because of the 21-day face to face event. I have blessed at work with several very big jobs coming my way. They will end up being the longest project ever undertaken by my company. Praise God for all the positive changes in my life and my family!”
11-20-11 John “Day 21 – Violence & Bloodshed. Before the 21 days I at times felt the Holy Spirit warning me concerning movies and TV programs with violence and bloodshed, but did not stop it. During the 21 days, my home fasted TV and movies. On day 21 I realized the fullness that allowing this in my home was very wrong. Going forward I will not allow this in my home and life. Amen!”
11-5-11 Tammy “God has been reconciling me with people who I felt rejected me in the past. This week I met some ladies from my graduating high school class from 25 years ago. They were all happy to see me, even the ones I couldn’t remember! A couple of them had been cheerleaders and I had always felt they were stuck-up and that they had rejected me in high school. But now they accepted me! I felt like a normal person and began overcoming intimidation I had felt because of the rejection I had felt from them in the past.”
11-4-11 John “On day 5 – Pride: Enemy of God, the Holy Spirit brought this to my heart and for the first time I had a very deep sorrow for the slightest pride – when activated – I became an enemy of God! O Lord, forgive me for the smallest bit of pride! I will never be the same.”
11-13-11 John “On day 14 – Covenant Prayer during “soaking” as I asked God to come face to face with me – His love came in like never before – and it was indescribable. I have tasted a new level of His love – through repentance.”
11-20-11 Judy “To set aside these 21 days has blessed my life. To just come and sit at His feet and worship Him, to bless Him and repent, putting Him first. Ps. 27:4 – Â ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord.’ I want His presence more than ever in my life.”
11-20-11 Bill “The past 21 days has been a time spent in humbling myself before my Lord and Savior, confessing and repenting of my sins. I have learned much about humility and meekness. My most broken time before the Lord came when I took my wife, Pat, to Pastor Mark Baker’s Agape House of Prayer. As we were waiting to take communion, the Lord laid upon my heart that I needed to publicly ask Pat and the Lord to forgive me for not being the Godly husband and father that Christ requires of me and she deserves. The Lord rent my heart as I broke down and wept and asked Pat the Lord to forgive me. Â ‘Lord Jesus, grant me grace to honor You and Pat according to Ephesians 5:25-33. The Lord has also broken my heart over my pride and self-righteousness. Like Jacob, I can say, Â ‘Lord I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which Thou hast shown unto Thy servantâ€¦’ Genesis 32:10. But I can stand upon the sure promises of God. I John 1:9; I Peter 5:5-6; Deuteronomy 8:15-16; Philippians 1:6.”
Anonymous “I had been praying for my husband for about 3 weeks regarding some pride issues. During one of our first nights, pride was addressed. He was uncomfortable at first but after I repented openly at the mic, my husband repented to me. He said he recognized that some of the examples of pride were ways he had acted. God is awesome!”
11-20-11 Denny Sunday morning, November 20, was the final day of our 21 Day Divine Experiment and Consecration. Our congregation at New Life Community began Sunday worship with our usual pre-service prayer gathering for about 45 minutes. Once our service began our worship time was meaningful but not particularly unusual. Then the worship band led us in singing an old hymn entitled, The Love of God (revised by Mercy Me). The atmosphere began to change noticeably. The last verse seemed to rend the heavens as we basked in God’s love.
Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.
We repeated the last verse at the top of our lungs amidst raised hands and weeping. One of our men came to the altar, overwhelmed at God’s love for him. I invited the congregation to come forward for a “season of prayer,” challenging them to really press in as we basked in His love. All but about 5 people emptied their seats, surrounding the platform, altars, and front row of chairs. We were on our faces, backs and knees for almost 45 minutes of our service (a first for our crowd, I’ll admit). The message I had planned to preach was, “Fellowship With God.” Needless to say, the Holy Spirit did the teaching, on a subject very dear to His heart. We experienced first-hand the truth of Acts 3:19: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord….” What a refreshing time we had with our Lord! We declared that morning, “We will never go back!”