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Overcoming Tribulations In Ministry- Part 1

Dwayne Lemon Alexandra Lemon

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  • September 2, 2018
    7:00 PM

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Generally I internalize a lot you know there's various reasons for that but which is not good by the way if you're someone that internalize your feelings and you keep it in that's that's very very dangerous so please get accustom to talking praying more don't internalize here or your problems it actually can bring on disease OK Just a side note but. With this being said everything was going fast like Twain said he was happy speaking at certain places and you know going to work I was at home with the children you know I was pregnant for 4 years straight. And. I know it's a stone but I'm happy you know Jerry don't want to be like that. I'm very very happy I mean I don't recommend doing that your body needs at least 18 months to recover from just one pregnancy so you know we didn't plan it this way just it just happened so. Tab them all at once I guess so. But you can imagine just give you an idea I had read Who was he was 2. He was 2. Was. Like 6 months and I was pregnant with data all at the same time that is actually if you think about that's absolutely crazy that's you know my mother got me a stroller with 3 seats and back in my day that was uncommon to see I don't even know how she found it and you know so when I remember I was taking a walk with them. You know I'm pregnant with Jayden carrying and pushing the 3 kids and I'm just walking like you know and all this stuff and this lady was on the phone and she was sitting. On her porch and as I was walking she was like. Oh my oh my God And she just started she's like hold on I feel so sorry for you how do you like and she just made a big deal about it and I was into me and I was just like OK you know totally embarrassed and never went out after that because I was this like oh no this is embarrassing this whatever and it's just there was so many things going on in the church you know you're talking about the church family the sister that came up. I understand you know sometimes I don't think the they meant anything but sometimes you say things to people like again another baby again oh you should get a T.V. in your room or while you're getting fat you know it's. Like are you serious but anyway so many things but fast forward. In the country. We moved to Georgia when the country. I was I got accepted into the nursing school I worked really hard and I had to let my spot go because I believed that God was calling us to do this to go into the country and I was convicted about being home with my children so we went to the country in Georgia. And you know we're just living life and then you know the meetings and all these things are happening and you know it's impressive Back then it was like you know he has been you know. I was so proud of at the time of the my mind was just wow you know God is using my husband such a mighty way and personally I was blessed to you know he's my husband but I was learning just like everybody else you know if you ever see me sit at the meetings I'm always taking notes you know I'm taking pictures of the same power points you all are taken because you know I'm taking it in I'm a student also so. But nevertheless you know he starts getting the calls and he's getting the calls and I'm like wow the Lord is using doing this is great you know and then you know as a as his wife I wanted to encourage that I wanted to be that help me and just you know encourage my husband along in the Lord so I cooperated and I was OK with that not knowing that it was going to kind of mushroom into this worldwide ministry I had no idea like he said he had no idea we didn't plan it it just kind of happened so but you know as we started getting calls I was like. You know it got to the point where he had to you know quit his job because this is what he really wanted to do and I was OK with that because one thing I knew I was like he would call this is his work and you know I said you know. That brother with this. He says if it's God's will it's his bill I love that because I said Lord you call them so you got us covered you see you got these 4 kids here and you know I know God called us to homeschool and so Lord you have to provide the way because you know we put ourselves in a position where we would be willing to do everything he's told us to do one thing we I was telling a couple we were sitting with today's that my husband I never ever ever disagreed on anything spiritual ever like everything spiritual We were like spot on like yes if this is what God says we're going to do it and if I had issues with it our struggles that was just my struggle but one thing I know it's like God called us to do this and this is what it is don't worry about you know the mortgage and God's going to take care of it so it was not a problem for me when he quit his job I was likes about time you know let's do this you know that's my mind I'm like let's but I had no idea what I was saying yes to absolutely you know you know one of the things it was hard for me because when we got married we were very very broke and I'm the youngest of 8 when I came into the picture my father went through a lot of struggles financially to help take care of our home but when I came in that's when some prosperity started to come in financially and you know dead I saw it in my father he really wanted to take care of his family and that was something that my dad instilled deeply in my mind was You take care your family part of being a man of the house is you take care your family so. You know when we got married there was a lot we did not know we didn't go through Adventism you didn't go through Child Guidance we didn't go through these books not because we didn't want to they were not highlighted they were not brought before us and we didn't know what to look for so you know now that we came in broken and I remember I remember the days of buying groceries and you know always robbing Peter to pay Paul it's just constantly taking from one account having to stand at a grocery line and you swipe your card and it says insufficient funds and everybody's looking at you like c'mon you holding up the line and now I got to call the bank thinking I'm right to say hey I know there's money in the account then they're like No Do you remember when you spent this do you remember when you spent this do you remember and I have to humbly take stuff off and backtrack really pathetic stuff and this is what we had to go through so when we started to work and I began to understand a little principles and really start developing finances writing you know budgeting and all these things we really worked hard I mean my wife said I'm going to stay home with the children and I said OK if you're going to do that then I said I pledged by the grace of God I will make sure you never lack for anything you know you make in this sacrifice as the man of the household as the priest of my home it is my responsibility to make sure that I can do all that I can help take care of you and the children so when we finally worked and I began to get a little bit more wisdom etc and I watched the the 30000 a year turned into 50 in the 528082 you know we started jumping higher and higher and higher to 6 figures it was it was a blessing because now I could do the things that needed to be done in the household and then some and I remember when God was calling to go into full time ministry. You know it was a serious struggle it was a very serious struggle because you finally got to a place where you can I would dare to say easily take care your home I love the blessing ministries I've always had this joy from as soon as we started to make good money that it would be a privilege to write a check in and give it to this ministry that ministries and so I'm feeling like we're already doing enough we're already we're supporting ministries we're helping people that why are you calling me away from my job and I'm going to end up and I told my wife I said Honey look at this point we have a built log home we built a log home in the country. You know we're living a very good comfortable life and I said You do understand if I go into full time ministry we're going to be broke like pretty much everybody else around us that's in full time ministry are you prepared to lose and that's what I asked her and she looked me in and this was a very pivotal point I remember right in the kitchen of 800 Tamarac wrote and she looked me in the eye she says Do you believe that God has called you to do what you're doing and I said I do then she said then do what God says and that was like a major weight off my back because a man does not want to fail his family I'm very serious about that a man does not want to fail his family and I have to say it and you know I don't mean anything by it but maybe you know there though there are some who can relate to what I'm going to say and some who can't a black man does not want to fail his family there's things that happens in the urban black community that. Failure is sometimes our middle and our last name and so I wanted to break that mold I wanted to be able to say no there is a black family that can do well in the name of Jesus take care of their home etc etc there so all of this was really in my head when I had to contemplate walking away from this lifestyle walking away from a secure income and entering into a field where now I'm living by Matthew chapter 20 and verse 4 you know whatsoever right whatsoever is writing my salary went from blank 6 figures to whatsoever is right and that takes faith you got to trust God to do that and that was a level of trust that was not properly cultivated so you know I say that to say it was not easy to do that you know my wife is almost as she's telling it it almost comes across like we would just kind of like it you know OK all right no problem but there was that was a massive struggle I ran for 2 years I knew God was calling me away from the job for 2 years and I just was Jonah I mean I was just like in the the belly of the whale getting ready to be digested and it was just like him How do you and I had to come so it was a very big step and I remember walking away from my job my box with my stuff and I remember I looked up in the sky and I said I'm yours now and that's exactly what I said to God I said I'm yours now. In From that point forward we started to go forward I forgot that part. So were. So with that being said we're being propelled into ministry and. You know Dwayne accepted the call and he stepped on a plate and we were OK with that like I said not realizing really what this was going to mean yes he did share with me finances may be tight because yes we were surrounded by a lot of people who we did not see a good picture but I still felt it was different with him it was something different with him and that's why I said I'm not worried about that. So we saw some some bad examples of self-supporting ministries and it wasn't good so I understood why he was taking his time because it wasn't good so. He I remember his 1st trip was 1st major long trip was Australia and he went to Australia by himself we ended up going on the 2nd trip for the 1st trip he went by himself and you were gone for like 3 weeks and I've never been apart from doing for that long ever and so when he went there was a couple of times he went for a weekend here there and I was like OK you know but when he went for 3 weeks when he came back I was like oh no. That was too long. I was just not used to it and then I started thinking I come on you know help me you know just certain things sacrifice and things like that but it impacted the family in a way because we're just so close. And I started to notice a change in my son Jared like when he would just kind of act out certain times when he was smaller and I couldn't pinpoint why you know everything I did was the same and then over time I noticed when his dad wasn't around he just it wasn't you know he would just be moody I don't know what the what it was but. So we just talked about is like hey if there's a way the family can go we prayed about it and then I think a couple of years later we were asked to go to Australia again and we all went as a family and we stay for a month and that was amazing I mean it was it was a wonderful opportunity but our home schooling books and we did homeschooling in the building when Duane was doing certain classes and then we would participate in certain classes so we you know I was really trying to make it work but. Then we came home and then it's like you know more meetings it's like OK that's cool we get to travel California we came for and went to the Hammers went to Bermuda 5 times they called us back I mean the passport books are filled it was just I said Can I see see how I mean we don't even have to pay for any of this like how God's just letting you see around the world and just this is this is amazing what a privilege right my mind still can't grasp on. I mean it's just Westman elder and I were in Bulgaria together and I remember remember this you know walking down the streets a Bulgarian. And at some point I'm just walking down these streets and I just kind of yelled out What am I doing here you know it's just because in my mind I'm just like how did I get here you know you just have this reflection moment I'm from Hollis Queens New York I don't have a diploma of any kind I have the worst kind of high school diploma have a GED I mean that's the worst of the worst of it right and it's like this is all I got back what I'm not doing in Bulgaria and it's it's like that stuff messes with your head because you're trying to understand how did this happen I don't understand how this happened so my wife again you know casually Bermuda this is this and I'm marveling because I'm like how did we get here and then Peter was one of the 1st guys to break the mold I felt a sense of a need us and I got to be home with my family because the traveling started getting kind of crazy. We went to 9 countries in one year I went to that was just out of control OK so I remember that I told my wife as it this and it is evident I need to be home more you know so that was around the time we got a call to come to California and I agreed to come but once we made the covenant listen we are a big family and we understand ministries that you know a lot of times as stated earlier you know finances are not as available so we knew hey if anything will go we'll just travel less you know it will be less income or whatever no problem but we got to be together as a family because I started seeing the impact of husband and father not being around. And from that that is when I told Peter I called him as a Peter listen I really appreciate the invite I know you guys already kind of lock me in your schedule but I cannot go because I didn't I don't want to leave my family and then that's when the next thing you know I get a call back and he says hey we got things a raise and such a way that you and your family can come. I didn't ask for that I just was ready to take the loss like OK we did there's a certain place we just won't go and then it was weird it was very strange people started calling from different places even sometimes different countries and they would say bring your family I'm like you understand how large a family is you understand with 6 people and bring your family and so we again we're trying to wrap our heads around this that people are actually paying for it to they were all there was always the silent donors these people that didn't want to know want to be known and they would say we will pay for the children you know whatever and we're traveling and so again we're watching all of this stuff happen and the ministry is growing and there is a massive fight in all honesty you know this is this is you know would be a very real with you all this is serious fight at a certain point in the growth of ministry to stay humble because there's so much favor That's coming your way now created by he says any ministry where you just constantly see doors opening in and things being provided the center of this is going to at least be a temptation. To think a little bit more of yourself than you should and to begin to steam yourself in a way that you should not esteem yourself and so there was a fight in a battle of trying to remain humble and to remain low and to understand this is a privilege this is a true privilege and there were some things that started to happen so you continue OK I'm going to get it right this time. You know you get the right answers you know given these little details sometimes that's why we're both here that's right so that's what led me to read the minister's wife when I saw. There was a woman I remember she was I forgot the name of the place he went to with knowledge Romania and she was the owner of a sanitarium there and she called me she was like I think you are doing went with another gentleman to Romania and then the following year she was like oh Sister Lemon Yeah I was actually here yes I think it was our army and I was upstairs in the lobby and I had a table and she came and she said I would like to propose for you and your husband to come back to Romania we were we were so blessed by has been ministry and we would like to hear from you and we will make sure you have a nice place and we'll give you massage and we'll do this and you will have nice food and I actually was taken aback by that I'm like you know that's nice but in my mind I'm just like do they think that's what they have to do to get me to come you know I that's how I that's how I processed it and when I was here when she said that I was like I don't want to give people that impression that they have to you know coerce me to come and sister Lemon will we have fresh towels or like. I don't even have those fluffy topples as like I just got regular towels so but I mean if you present it you know it's like who wouldn't want to but I don't want you to think that's a criteria so I said I meet a need to understand what a minister is so I read the book Gospel workers minister's wife and I'm reading and I'm like the law. I said I'm pretty much like side by side working with him in line so we're just counseling and work and we're just unified in the same purpose and it's like I'm supporting my husband in this work and it's sacrificial and you know this is not for me to be waited on or all these things and I said OK I still have my guys here and I was like there's a lot of things that I know now that I didn't know back then and so I was trying to manage it all because like my husband said 9 countries in a year we pretty much live out of our suitcases that's 9 countries that's not that doesn't include the other places in the states that we went to so when we. Would come home I would tell the guys my children don't even take your stuff out the suitcase leave it right in the living room put in the machine and wash it and put it right back because after Sabbath we're going to be on another plane to California or here or there or we get the cargo in the car we travel in my mind I'm like we're doing the work we're we're working for the Lord we're family ministry and you know I was OK with that pretty much I said Lord what a privilege I shouldn't complain I got this sister that went to a church I went to and she would be home with her daughter she would resent the fact that she's home and she was like look at you out there with your kids and even staring I'm just home and I was like the most which you know. And then I felt convicted I was like I'm not trying to give off that impression but something wasn't right but I just couldn't pinpoint it at the time and so you know we're traveling we're traveling. And you know things come to a head after a while if these things aren't checked or aren't addressed and so for me. And you can interject whenever you'd like but as time went on years later we were doing this every year every year every year and I got to a place where I went to my husband I said I can't do this anymore. This is too much you know I don't know anyone that does what we do and I don't mean in terms of the speaking and the impact I'm talking about traveling with the family and possibly like every Sabbath you had a different church as like I don't know who does that because you're into different time zones and. You know you're staying here in S.W. I see in the meetings the late that's you know you have a special event but you go home right and then you kind of rest for the week and you don't this is not a normal common thing this is kind of a once a year maybe twice a year different events but for us you know we would go to an event and you know meetings counseling staying up late and then the following week where another event and the same thing and we'd be home for a week maybe 2 which would be very rare and then you're back on the road and again people like system Lemon hug you do it you you know it's quite how you know can can we counsel can I can I come to your house and watch you and I was like observe what you do. And I'm just like while people are really you know OK so. Again I internalize things and I'm just like you know I actually need prayer you know I didn't feel it was hard for me to say that because there was just an assumption that I just had it all together and so this is not what I wanted I mean if you come to me and say that I'm not going to say well actually you know I'm messing up in certain places and I need it it's like it's kind of hard you know run the people come to you and they say that you don't want to open your business up you just kind of say OK well present Lord prays for me please you know and you know the point is is that people put us on a very high pedestal not here they don't do that here you know I'm actually here I disagree. I am and what was often a struggle for individuals was to know that doing and Alexandra would just as regular normal common people like anybody else we've got struggles we have issues we have challenges we have thoroughly imperfect but we strive and so you know when they saw the externals you know they'll see well behaved children they don't know like 8 this still some character development that has to happen they would see the wife that they're by the husband but my wife is like hey I got certain things that I battle with and I'm striving with and me forget about it because I'm the guy constantly speaking and seeking to present God standards with clarity you know individuals interpret that as he must be practicing all these things perfectly and so we're put on this pedestal and a lot of pressure came with that and you know we had people say silly stuff I mean I mean one time was at a co-op and we had a couple missionaries and one of the missionaries they were new and. We it was like a regular day outside you know so I had my jeans on I had my sneakers on my children with their we wanted to play so we went outside and I started to do cartwheels you know and all the sudden I like having fun I like doing cartwheels I like playing on the grass and stuff like that and the missionaries like to play in lemon does cartwheels I can't believe it's you know and just and it's just like really I mean really so present through people can't do cartwheels you know it's just strange deductions strange deductions you know so they don't understand we have very very normal people and I do understand that when you present the standard if you present it with clarity if you present it with Pat those you know people are really going to say Wow they must really live up to this 100 percent understand how the human mind words and so I would say to my wife to say this and you know people are watching us not to say let's become excellent actors that was not the message but it was to understand we have a responsibility you know we have a responsibility that as we present the message let's do our best to ever maintain consistency with that which we preach and so you know it brought on a lot with my wife because people would come to her and expect her to understand everything as I understand it as if she doesn't have her own personal study like as if she doesn't have her own challenges sometimes maybe understanding certain things so it was kind of like we had this whole thing painted on us and it kept prohibiting to a degree to allow us to be regular normal people. And you know I would say I refuse to buy into that you know that was me I was like look I've got issues like anybody else on the way to open up my information everybody but at the same time I don't have a problem communicating Yeah to struggle with that you have to struggle with it you know we have a private conversation I'm obviously not going to bring up bring up a lot here on the pope at the podium but if you sit down and you talk with me anybody who sits down and talks and they know it's real talk we are real normal brother real normal sister and we go through the battles of life as we do but things kept building and building and building in ministry and a lot of pressure was definitely coming from various angles and we're not even getting into some of the persecutions you know. Division that shuts you down and doesn't let you come into a country that they already paid for your plane tickets to come into. Unions or certain leaders in our conferences or pastors who just don't like you when they don't like your messages and you know that a lot of stuff that came with that you know it's like we were getting hit from a lot of different angles as to kids growing into this thing it's kind of like funny as we're talking it's like everything happened with us fast we became we got what we didn't marry fast and we kind of you know Corey married better to have well America out it's OK I didn't go fast it was that it was like a year yeah but it was our year ahead. I am going to be OK So they said we got married fast. And their effects and then we had children fast but I am and you know we ended up you know responsibility came on the fast timing of the quote unquote corporate ladder and then of course we go into ministry and a ministry grows fast and so everything's fast so we were always literally we were always trying to catch up. We want always trying to catch up. To catch up with God in our personal walk to catch up on what it means to be ideal husband ideal wife to catch up with what it means to be ideal father ideal mother to catch up what it means to be effective gospel workers and it was just costly and ongoing battle and all that was happening behind the scenes and you just kept seeing that Polish figure that would come before you to speak for that hour speak at a conference or whatever but you didn't understand you know the real battles and struggles that was happening deep down on the inside until a certain time came when a lot of stuff came to a head in your head and I do want to say that you know if I'm giving or we're giving the impression that we're blaming. Ministry You know there are choices that we make this choices you know I could look back and say well I didn't have to do this I could have done this you know I could see that all over I remember one of my children came to me and they they came and they said it seems frustrating because it seems like everyone's watching us and I can't make a mistake and if I make a mistake I'm judged where my friend does it it's not a big deal but because I'm you know Lemon is my last name it's a problem and I understood I said I got that tooth interesting you know and this is like they watch me too but guess what you know how I look at it an opportunity to be a blessing so you could be an example that you could reach more people that maybe your friend can't because your last name is lemon and got this new thing you you know so look at it that way and a privilege to be a light you know because of how God is using a father and so this is what I shared with that one child and. It took him a while but after a while he kind of embraced it but it was very difficult and so the one point I wanted to make though before we transition to 2016 is when you're home on a daily basis you you have a job. You know we're counseled to wake up in you know in the in the Bible we're told to wake up early and to spend time with God to commune with our Savior. And if you have to start work at a certain time or you have to be out the house by 5 Typically if you can get that hour in before it's very difficult to do when you're home right but it's so essential for the day right so imagine trying to do this when you're traveling on a regular basis different time zones and you minister into people can you kind of make the connection like how difficult it was now what I started to realize was again I got to the point where I told my husband I said you know I think we need to like this is this too much like it was just a little feelings here and there but over time I became more vocal like you know this has to stop because. I'm not able to function like I feel like I was kind of lost in ministry and this is why you know when I hear people talk about serving serving serving and giving and giving in all this but you have to come aside and rest awhile right. And so I would do things like say Hey can we do like a 3 month family vacation you know and my husband be like we can't i was like well can we do 2 months like it's just the 6 of us just no one else you know counseling I understand I share my husband with everyone and as a minister's wife that is something that I had to learn very quickly I did not like that at the beginning I had issues with that when I would be with my husband and people would talk to him for a long time that was very difficult for me now I'm fine you know I'm just like OK this. Must be a serious issue here and also in a prayer but at the beginning was very hard so there's a lot of things I had to learn being that the wife of a minister when I married him I did not know he was going to be a minister I just you know I love them for who he was and everything and you know he was excited about the Bible but it's like I did not know I was going to be a minister's wife so I had to kind of crash course and learned quick through trial and error reading praying and all these things but. I don't want to be scattered here but the point is that the Communion life is something that was really really needed for me and so and trying to kind of fall in line as you know coworker and also be a mother to 4 children wish is very difficult because of just 4 different characters for different personalities I mean we got married in 2 months later I was pregnant so it's not like I even had a chance to like he said everything was just way too fast and so. You know when I go through something traumatic or something like that I just kind of deal with it you know I don't complain or whatever I just kind of deal with it on the outside but inside there's a lot of battles and so going through this and all this it affected. Over time it affected my time with God You know I would do it certain times it was just fluctuating and that's not good you know we talk about abiding with Christ you know you have a pluck of a leaf from a branch and how long it lasts it has to stay connected to the branch in order to you know and so I was just not connected all the time but yet like I said we minister I wasn't trying to put on a facade or something and you know I really genuinely wanted I was OK with it it was just I think we were doing it wrong. And we were saying yes because we felt like if the call was given we should answer it. So if we said no that was wrong so we kept saying Yes Yes OK Yes we'll come here yes we'll come there during that gives us 3 days here but I guess just 3 days to come and kind of regroup and get back on the road but again the Lord we're doing his work this is what he wants us to do this is a privilege you know that we can work as a family end like he said earlier organizations are paying for a family for everyone that's not really something common so. God's blessing is a promise you know we just got to keep keep it moving and just do it and I just need if I have issues I just need to fall in line with that and just get it together so if I would fail. With certain things and let's say we were supposed to do homeschooling and I didn't get it done I'd be like OK we got like 2 days in but we were there for 7 days next trip I'll get it together go back and you know ascertain the cause and just go back OK we would regroup and it was just a common thing people say Oh we'd love to take your family out voting on this so sweet kids would you like that yeah and then we would just go so every time we go sometimes they were people you know kind people that would just take our kids out you know take us to the zoo or take them boating or somewhere just to kind of be you know hospitable to us but over time I noticed that it was affecting even the plans I had for schooling because I was allowed only so many days between coming in Sabbath preparation there's a cooking class you know got a shop you know I can't bring all the food I got to shop there on the plane with so much so and it was just constant back to back so the home schooling was impacted OK So you're talking about the devotional life not as consistent and the children yes they're presenting and they're working with the parents because we're like OK there's a family ministry we're all working together so not just your dad it's me you can sing you could whatever your heart desires to do as long as you're willing to do it sincerely for the Lord you know to be an example to families and we this is what we did and we were generally just we fell in line with that and this is what we did and so it got to a place where. You know you look back and you're just like no this is wrong when temperate temperance is sometimes saying no I can't come Actually I need to stay back and. So I said Lord this was given to you you know we didn't ask for this show us how to manage it because we're not doing it right you know you see in that than his home page 32 it says one well ordered family one well disciplined family will do more on behalf of the Gospel than all the sermons that could be preached and I believe this sometimes even the devil can be intermingled in ministerial invites keep them so busy giving to everybody else that they neglect giving what's needed in their own home Satan knows if I can keep their home in a state of disability it doesn't matter how many sanitariums they start up it will eventually crumble it does not matter how many schools they start it will crumble it doesn't matter how wide and broad their ministry goes it will eventually crumble because if the foundation be destroyed what can the righteous do and so our misinterpretation of a lot of this stuff was that invitations equal Providence and so we would say the more that the people inviting in calling in all these things it must equal Providence God wants this my wife says how she struggled you know when somebody wanted to talk with me she had to share a husband you'd be amazed at how much of a struggle you have no idea how many times I heard. The people are taking away my dad and again that's my full because I thought everybody was supposed to understand it's like we're ministry the people have needs for getting They have the chief needs they have the chief rights to father and I don't say this to make anybody feel bad please understand I'm not doing it for this purpose I'm just being very honest the whole purpose of us here in this testimony is that by God's grace you can overcome some battles they overcame by the word of the test and that's one reason why we're doing this OK I got to a place I couldn't even eat a meal with my family without somebody coming to the table rather I got a question brother I need to talk to I couldn't even go on a digestion walk with my family just to get a time to say how are you enjoying the conference without somebody saying just just ONE has one question with a lot of God's people really live in prophecy because we always say it will be quick it's only a minute only a minute we're a little bit and I'm like Man that is such prosthetic language I am because you're definitely not being literal if you don't say God he does live in prophecy you know this be quick just 5 minutes and 5 minutes and 50 minutes and the list goes on but you know I understand like I understand in my response would be the people have needs don't worry when the conference is over we'll get our time together but as my wife just said when the conference is over we get back home and the next thing you know we barely can unpack the bag before we're back on the next mission. So wildly a giving this image to the masses and preaching the Word and doing a lot and all these different things that there was a there was a lot of struggles that was happening and everything I didn't even get into how many late nights if you travel you got to go from one conference to the next you got to think about what's the message is what's the material so we're going to put it together sometimes when everybody else is asleep so now you've got to be up late you're teaching everybody lost health laws or health proper rest proper rest but you stayed up late and then you say but I'm staying up late for the glory of God. And this vicious cycle just kept going and God in His mercy and grace in 2016 my wife said something I'm open you up to this my wife said something to me she said doing we need to slow down do you know I was in such a track I'm really opening my heart to you right because my hope my prayer is you do not make the same mistake as my wife said honey we need to slow down we really need to slow down we're doing too much and other than my mind was so convinced that we have to just keep going forward that I literally thought in my mind maybe what has to happen is maybe I just need to keep doing this thing get sick die and some other guy would a 9 to 5 and nice regulated life can go ahead take over where I stood because I'm at a place and I said this with great sincerity as a father I don't know how to stop I got so much in the mode of doing this that I didn't know how to stop. And I believe that the Father the Son and the holy angels came together in a spiritual huddle and said you heard Milliman just said if we don't go down there and confound his language. He's going to kill himself in the name of ministry watch these next words like many other ministers have there's a lot of people that died in our faith that were powerful Avenger lists and preachers and teachers and it's amazing how when you talk with the surviving family members many of them will tell you how many a times God gave warning after warning after warning after warning after warning slow down you're pushing yourself you're doing more than I had asked you to do and that's why I read to you earlier in the day letter 3 B. 881 when I read that article of the prophet of God says do the little that you can and trust God with the rest do not work as if everything is waited upon you that if you don't do it it won't get done she says when you take on such burdens you will be crushed under then that's clear language so 2016 came I went to Malaysia when I went to Malaysia it was a sanitarium so I was working over there the sanitarium with some brother and as I was there I said hey I haven't gotten my blood work done in a long time so I actually said hey can you take my blood work and check me out give me like a once over things are very inexpensive in Malaysia so I say check my B 12 check everything so I had to check everything out. And that was the 1st time that I was alerted that some of my blood work was not the best it wasn't like dangerous but it wasn't the best and so it was from that that when I came back to the States I started wondering about what could potentially be going on in my body I never was concerned about that kind of stuff I went years without seeing a doctor but now that I got myself checked out and I saw some things were a little off I was like I need to check that and so I started doing research and finding out why has Billy Rubin a little off a why is this off Why's that off as I started to do more of that another couple of months would go by and some really bad things happen 2016 was my year of stress I mean I was stressed like I've never been stressed before I started having got problems I don't have the problems also you think I have a stomach of steel office and I'm having problems I could barely eat I start losing weight and I'm like what is happening to me I'm getting checked out they're doing scans and all this other stuff everything's coming back in the clear but I know something's wrong and you know when you allow stress to build in your mind you can do things and say things that will even shock you and I recall during that fall of 2016 that I got so frustrated even in ministry with fellow ministers that I began to allow my anger and my rage to come out in such a way that it even shocked myself to see doing I thought that thing was out of you and I exploded on my friends and I exploded on my fellow workers and as all of this happened all of a sudden it was very shortly after that I lie to you know this is 2016 I would start walking down the road to take my walks and it would start feeling like there was this dark cloud that was just over my head it was like thoughts of death became very easy for me to entertain I started going through anxiety. My wife would tell you there were times that she'd come in the room and I wouldn't even come downstairs she'd be like Honey you got to come downstairs you got he got to do different things I was not hungry I don't want to come downstairs all I would do is sit on the side of my bed and look out the window and I would just look out the window and as I'm looking out the window there were times I would cry to start crying and all I kept seeing was myself dying it was like I would have at least $500.00 thoughts a day of death just death and I started saying what is happening to me why am I thinking this way I don't think this way it would become very easy for me to start crying it was like I was going through something I've never gone through in my life I started calling people thank God I'm affiliated with you know the Amen conference also so I got access to all sorts of folks and I'm calling people and I'm like listen you know why is this happening you know like what is this and I remember I called Dr Magna parks and you know she said rather than and I think you're going through depression and I was a psych really and all along and it's really messed up because it's like I really want to share these things with you to get to a key point but I understand I respect the clock and I'm pretty sure we'd like done but this is just things that we really went through that if I could just articulate it as fast as possible and I went through deep anxiety I went through some stages of depression. Thoughts of death was constantly hovering over my mind. It got so bad that one day we were at a Whole Foods and I would see my children coming out of the Whole Foods as I saw them come into the car it was like the voice was so clear you will die before this year is over. And somebody else will be there father somebody else will be. And you will be forgotten and it would haunt me so much that when my children came to the car like hate we got our stuff and everything they I literally burst out crying walked out the car started walking down a full blown parking lot filled with people at Whole Foods crying and I'm not talking about no I'm talking about I mean like crying. And I could care less who was looking at me and I looked in the sky and I said what is happening to me it's like I didn't understand what was going on this is the closest I've ever related to that man called now because. I felt like I literally lost my mind didn't have joy any more had uncontrollable thoughts all these things that talk while are about to talk with that negative talk with Norman acknowledged because he's a neurologist I mean I'm talking all sorts of people like Look can you pray for me help me know what's going on and it was really bad my children watched all of this my wife watched all of this it was like Satan gave a full blown all out attack on the lemon house and you know what she said about those devotions being compromised What do you do when there's a high level evil spiritual attack on your family. And you're low on spiritual righteousness and gasoline now if you don't know how to minister to that person who's going through that crisis. This is this is just some. What we've gone to do you want to compete with me going back to that communion life. And we and during that time we you know he was saying is going through a lot of stress we were we were trying to be at a place where we would slow down on the traveling and but you know it's you know sometimes people book you a year in advance so you commit to it and you know you don't know a year later that you're like ah oh yeah we have to do this and you know you just kind of stick to your commitment but we were really trying to slow down and it was it was a yearly process you could just stop and float out like what we were doing it would take us a few years to get to a place where we would slow down because the calls would come in literally on a daily basis daily basis we were you know there was always a call and you know we were thankful again but it was just you know how do we manage who we say yes to and no to it it was it was hard but. I remember one time just my focus was read email and regrouping the family I would try different ways to regroup the family like OK family vacation we would go away and people would find out we were there and it was a rat so I would say OK 2 weeks away one for the people one for the family you know just trying to make it work because you know I understood we had friends in many places and you know kind people showed so much love and I just felt you know yes I did want to think I was pushing anyone away but anyway long story short you know we got to that place where. You know we were kind of regrouping and I remember one day I was in the living room and I saw things happening with Duane but it was kind of like you know he's having a bad day you know like he said he had a stressful year and there were times he would be stressed and we would talk and you know we would just discuss things and you know we just kind of deal with it and then but I notice especially when he came home from the country he went to Malaysia that's when I really started to see something was off with him now you have to understand Duane here what you see on the pulpit is exactly what you see at home sincere I mean he has a genuine heart to serve the Lord I mean he really he's it's not fate I can say this as his wife and you know this is who he is and this is why you know that my ration is there and the respect is there and all that but the thing was when he. So the children always see him as a strong man you know you see a dad like. Caleb it was like even if the plane would drive away somewhere when he was small he would always cry like. This it'll be like OK but you know Caleb was really connected to the hay with his father and you know if he is doing would just go down the road to the post office he would just get his self together and go to Bible study I mean whatever this was his strong man right here the other 3 were more connected with mom I mean we all loved each other but you know you got those who kind of lean more towards mom and lead Caleb in and doing we're just that was that I was like the super hero and everything I mean proud you know how some kids they don't want to stay with their family or walk the street they're Bassett not Caleb was this like this My dad is my father so when he saw and we saw all these things happening and we saw the way in getting to a point where you know just couldn't understand I remember there was a family counseling with us we had a family we spent the day with them and it kind of transition to a mini Council session and he we were both counseling with the family in our living room and then you know everything was you know we were sharing then at one point he went upstairs and I'm like OK he went upstairs and I'm talking to the family and her. Quick because you know he didn't come back down I come back up to go up stairs and he is falling and I'm like HE What's the matter like I mean depression just didn't even I wasn't prepared for that I just was like what's going on and like I thought he heard somebody died because he was baroque in like I had to hold him up and I'm just like what's what happened and then I mean there's a lot of things but I think it was around that time this is where he was and then we find out about the heart it was a lot I mean again just going through that and trying to lift him up but things got worse got worse and so remember I didn't accustom myself to abide consistently was fluctuating so I sincerely was not prepared to deal with what happened with him and it became something where I was trying to protect the kids because you know they would be in the living room and they're doing their work or whatever their schoolwork and I say and then you hear didn't say Alec that's a whole OK Hold on just finish what you're doing I'd go upstairs and I'm like OK like what's up because I got stuff to do that here you know this is what we this is what this is what we decided to do where we're home we're trying to redeem and you know in my mind I'm like This is what I'm about to do here I can't be with them you know and then he's just like I just and then he would just break down like pay what's going on and then I would be up there for $2.00 hours 2 hours just trying to console figure out and just listening and he's saying things and not making a lot of sense and. I'd be like hold hold on real quick go downstairs like that OK as a kid he's fine he's just kind of down and I just I'm trying to deal with both because I didn't understand what was going on and the kids were like what's going on and so I'm like I don't know what's going on with her dad he's just not having a good day so we just need to pray so quick for your father I'll be right back I'll go upstairs and they wouldn't see me till later on mixing you know I was late I'm smelling food because they figured I guess we just got a coat and this is how it was on a daily basis and I remember at one point Out of desperation that I said Father do what you have to do to save this family you know I was just at that place a year before this whole thing happened I said babe I'm ready for this. I know people don't say that do what you have to do to save me because we think he's going to hurt us or kill us Father I leave my children in your hands Father do what you have to do to save this family you think you're going to have cancer. And we don't trust them that's the best thing we could say is Father do what you have to do to save me we have nothing to worry about and so we made that declaration and I was consistent remember we went away and we were talking about it and boy ever since and I know it's like See that's why we don't say it but things had to come out that was there if the crisis didn't calm we would know that it existed so I didn't know I was in the place where I was I was just like OK I'm I'm doing the things I'm supposed to do but I didn't realize when dealing with this crisis I had nothing to stand on I was helpless I saw my husband and I didn't know what to do you know I don't know if you know how that feels when you see someone you love and you're like I can't help you. That's horrible and so you know he needed me and I wasn't there for him as I should have been I mean there were areas I was there was a kind of systems he needed I wasn't I wasn't there OK So and those kids need an explanation like what's going on OK so a K. I'm go I know we have probably 5 minutes but I'm just saying if you look at the picture if if I wasn't getting what I needed and he's ripping and running he's And we're just doing the work how we minister and to our kids all that time so they were kind of like what's going on with dad you know what's what's happening so then generally over time you know this is there's a lot of wonderful things God is so merciful you know you were saying that you so graciously so merciful even with his erring children and so he showed himself in such a mighty way that I wish I had time to talk about it but I understand but even the process of going to the doctors and prepping him for surgery. I got to just tell you this one thing and again I internalize everything member I tell you I internalize So on the outside you like seeing my mother you feel strong dealing with this and I'm just like you know because she wanted to come and be there for us when he went through this and she didn't know I was like a role in the inside but I can't tell my mother because she doesn't understand the way you know because this is something missing now mind you we were doing ministry for all these years but something is empty here in the stands so when you look at it all the all the things we were doing yes it was a blessing and you know. God can use you even if you're not doing the right things as brother while with you know the Lord is for the wallet to talk about Friday night he will use us in spite of but the thing is that I actually have a desire to be a question like I want to love God I want to have this character but I found out all these years I was like I'm still not like you and I'm not ready for this crisis in my home and the devil is attacking and I don't know what to do is that OK like you know it's hard for me to say that but this is just what I went through. And so. I didn't have a lot of people reaching out to me during that time and I still don't know why but it's OK because I don't know if they would have been much help to me anyway where I was like I understand God can use people but I needed I needed him to do something so I had to you know and so yeah sure I have an idea what we're going to do is cause right here but I'm going to leave you with this cliffhanger. Gave a tremendous breakthrough for all of us and it has paved the way for something very great not only to happen in our own hearts and in our own home but it also helped in our ministry tomorrow we will talk about that side of the story because there's just no way you can keep going but at the same time we're giving you a lot of that background I understand the details or did you have to give those details in our hearts we thought we had to because we really wanted you to understand. How things started and what got us to that police at 2016 we just really felt those details were necessary and now at this crisis it's evident that God has gotten us through it because we're here and I will tell you it's a beautiful thing to have a sound mind I have never appreciated having a sound mind and you don't appreciate it until sometimes you lose it to have the focus that I have now to have the vision to have to be able to see what I can see right now I mean I tell everybody when man did heart surgery God did heart surgery and I want to talk about that tomorrow and so tomorrow we're going to talk about the breakthrough how did God give the breakthrough through all of these very very serious things that took place so I want to let you know you know because normally you want to close with the great testimony and everything else but again it please we would be doing what Paul did in being up til midnight. And so what we're going to do is we're going to pray and we're going to pause right here because the time has been well spent. And then by Don's Grace tomorrow a closing message my wife and I will come back up because really and truly to meet this is truly the testimony of what happens when you abiding Christ is like this this is really a this this is about as real as we can get with you without just having a nice conceptualized nicely packaged sermon this is this is our story this is literally our story of how abiding in Christ has gotten us out of this mess and so it's just very appropriate to do so so we're going to do is going to think. For what has been shared I would just simply say to all of you we already know that there's a lot of us in this room that can relate to a lot of different aspects of the testimony that's why God impressed us to give him we also want to give it to you as a warning please do not walk in the footsteps that we walked in don't repeat these mistakes some of you are ministers in this room some of you are husband and wife ministries and all these different things this is why I wish it this week is so that you don't have to make some of these vicious mistakes and that by God's grace you can do better than even what we've had and so we trust that by God's grace and good things will come out of this and have already come out of it and so let's pray to that end Lord thank you for allowing us to hear this help us to truly see where we're going wrong the past that we are on right now the danger zones that you're clearly showing us folks you've got to think about this a lot of people are trying to change the Word of God to accommodate their circumstances situation and it's not going to happen the grass is going to weather the flower is going to favor the world would never ever pass away God's word is not going to change it is for us to comply with his words and not to try to manipulate his words to accommodate our lifestyle and so this thing is very serious and I hope we got it this evening Amen As for me. Father in heaven we want to thank you Lord for allowing Alexandria Knight to be very open and candid with our brothers and sisters were we doing this for your glory we know that there are many who are walking in the very same path that we have walked and while things can look one way on the outside we're grateful that you're allowing us to tell the whole story and things can be very different on the inside the father we're here and so you have given us the breakthrough you have brought us out of this darkness and though the journey is not finished we are truly want to much more firm solid foundation than we have ever been in times past in for this we praise you and we thank you and Lord I just pray that for our own household as a lemon family that you will help us to stick to the covenant that we have made with you realizing the things we have realized through this crisis and Father I pray for every single person under the sound of our voice that you will be with these families and have them do some deep heart searching and help them to consider the walk that they have with you and that they will go on a path that will be pleasing to the eyesight keepers now as we close out our evening and bring us back at the appointed time tomorrow we will give the final charge. Really what can happen. You abide in Christ even in the midst of deepest crisis. We ask these things of God in Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon or leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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