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Logo of Michigan Camp Meeting 2018: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

Keep it Alive - Part 5

Jed Genson Jodi Genson

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 22, 2018
    9:30 AM
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Lord I thank you so much for your great love for us and for all the information and the truth that you've revealed to us in your word and I just pray Lord that each one of us in this room. And we will trust you we will. Make sure that that word is a lie and. I pray for your spirit now as we conclude our series here and I pray that you will bless Jesus. OK Turn in your homework. Homework you have homework Did anybody do it I have. To. Enter into my yesterday. And I asked a good OK And those things that or. Whatever it is I'm going to say in the world things that are not a part of Christ should not be a part of Christian living that we've developed in our lives over the years are going to pull against the spirit so what do we need to do how do we react to that poll. What wait wait wait someone say that loudly Oh OK remember are 3. Put yourself under the authority of your superior officer submit by doing that you've turned your back that's the resist you're not staying there is saying you're not the boss of me by turning your back you're resisting because now the devil is looking at Jesus but you're focusing on Jesus and then you draw nigh to God you desire his presence like my daughter coming in can I lay with you mommy she wanted my presence so there's comfort in their security there if you are justified. Which means. OK if you are justified when does that take place. In a moment what do you have to do to become justified receive Jesus right so when you are justified how much of your sin remains in you. I don't hear that on how much how much of your sin remains in you how much is that remain in you Doug how about you how much you. Know how much guilt do you have. None What do you do when you start feeling guilty again. What's at that's it you praise God for forgiving you is God bringing back your past. You have to recognize who's doing what does God allow the past to come back absolutely because it deepens your repentance. Having your past come back to your mind is not necessarily a bad thing because if he said deep in your repentance you're right Lord I am so thankful that that was taken care of at the cross and you you exchanged your righteousness for that guilt that sin there's an exchange when I confessed my sins and they were forgiven they were just kind of out there they're just kind of out there right where they're not just out there they went to Jesus Jesus talk of them upon himself when I lay my sins on the lamb of god. My guilt is transferred to the Lamb and through the High Priest goes into the sanctuary and that's where it stays until someone has to cleanse it it's an exchange. Your guilt your sin for his righteousness his purity his power you understand wonderful OK So steps to Christ by the way how many of you read steps to Christ to Christ page 52 now that you have given yourself to Jesus do not draw back how many of you are going to draw back. None not me right do not take yourself away from him but day by day say let's say it I am Christ day by day say this. The reason we say these things aloud is because somebody else can hear us. And when you say I am Christ's he hears it you are making a declaration of faith and you are claiming Christ as your Lord and Savior and that puts him in the background so that's why when you're when you're feeling bombed same thing aloud because what does that do to him pushes him away I have given myself to him and ask him to give you his spirit and to keep you by His grace when we do a week of prayer in an academy we have this 4 by a banner that says I am Christ we invite the students throughout the week to come up and put their name on it I had one we could do but we be no place to keep it here so anyway I am Christ I wasn't raised in a Christian home I didn't have any church background until I was about 11 years old and when my mom Mary dad Number 4 this is Dad number 4 right there I was 12. My step grandmother who is the mother to Dad never 3 me tell you a quick dad number one was my biological dad he was a sailor and he didn't know my mother was pregnant with me when he divorced her and so I never met him he died I never met him but I did meet a brother I met my mammy there from the south Arkansas and so I do have a little bit of their dad number 2 was abusive he beat my mother when she was pregnant with a sister he kicked her down a flight of stairs and almost caused her to lose the baby could have lost her life as well we didn't know that sister because she was going through a real difficult time and her doctor advised her to give that child up for adoption and that's what she did it we met that sister in 1900. Dad number 3 was actually nice to us I mean he provided well for us he was just a little greedy and Hanif a couple friends of his held up Federal Savings and Loan Corporation in Portland Oregon and I remember sitting in our house on a Sunday night we're watching the Wonderful World of Disney and black and white I was 7 there was a knock at the door and back in those days children could go answer the door right so I went to open the door and there was a man standing there any asked if my daddy was home and I said yes he is and my dad and his friend were sitting in the kitchen of the homes had those arched. Entries from living room into the kitchen the head the table was in the kitchen so he's sitting at the kitchen table like this here's the archway the front door is right there so he peers around that wall to see who's looking for him well the man at the door saw him and he pushed his way through and there he said he had this little card that he flashed he says F.B.I. We want to talk with you so my step dad and his friend took off running through the house they went down the hall and you know there was a hallway right here I could see them running there was agents coming in the back door Mike my dad sled on there my bad and they pulled him out they handcuffed both of them they handcuffed my mother and escorted them out to waiting cars. And then some people came in officers I guess and took us children to a separate place now I can I understand what those children are feeling at the border being separated from their parents my little brother and I were taken to a. Like a foster care facility it wasn't a home it was more like a convent or something I don't know what you would call it but like an orphanage I guess and they separated us they took me to one part they took my brother to another he was about 4 or 5 I think and they had these bars closed and he broke free ice is such a vivid memory of mine he grabbed on to those bars while the nurse or whoever she was assigned to pull him away and he's seriously and we stayed there for 3 days until they cleared my mother. Well grandma Peggy was mother to Dad number 3 the one who was in the prison and she took us to Sabbath school she was a 7th Day Adventists Now go figure. She took us to Sabbath school and she was the one who introduced us to Jesus she made arrangements for a Bible worker to come to our house and he had this film strip projector we don't see those anymore. And he showed pictures on our wall and I can remember worse the children are sitting on the floor my mom and dad are on the couch and Dale is doing the Bible study I don't remember a thing he said all I remember was the picture of Jesus coming again and in my little 11 year old heart I wanted to be with Jesus I wanted that there was something about Jesus coming and seeing him on that cloud and with that crown Now keep in mind this is a night $958.00 model picture but still it made an impression upon me I wanted to be ready I wanted to now when we were baptized were baptized as a family and so my mother decided you know what our lives are going to be different we're not living the same life we used to so I had a new dad. I have a new religion we're now eating veggie burger and rather hot dogs and you know we we go to church on Saturday OK now it's time though that we build a spiritual house see there's one thing about wanting to be with Jesus and getting baptized. But there's another thing about building a spiritual house OK so my stepdad provided for us they bought a house and and we were living fine in that house but we needed to build a spiritual house Bible says it this way you also as a living stones are being built up a spiritual house a holy priesthood each one of us is a spiritual house and I hope that your home is a spiritual house in our home it was kind of a challenge because we had television and we had all different kinds of things that distracted and we were not used to it OK So just like a blended family my stepdad had no children so he married my mother who had 4 What a brave man. You know my brother was 13 and I'm coming up on 12 so that makes us teens preteens right with attitudes so Bible study this is how we this is the foundation of your spiritual house is Bible study now many of you may or may not have a developed a habit of spending time in the word you may have in your devotional life many wonderful books that she will read devotional books or or some other spiritual books that you will read May I take a liberty here I mean we've been friends for a week now. May I make a suggestion that she is set those books aside for other reading purposes and use your bible for your devotional time is out alright now what I have done in my Bible study devotional time when I'm reading along. In a devotional book in the afternoon or whatever if there is something that strikes me I'm going to get a post it note write it down put the verse that it's referring to on the post it note and stick it in that place so that when I come back to do my Bible say that's going to remind me of what I read and I might even put a note there of how it impressed me so that's one thing you can do for your bible study time. John Hall K. Who remembers this verse don't look on the screen close your eyes ready John 173 and this is life eternal that they might know the the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent How do we get to know him. I will say the word the word remember he is the word HIS NAME IS the Word of God So by spending time in here you are spending time in him but. I visit a prison and winces up in the U.P.. And I have 570 I'm a sinner and so my 1st time going in there they want to know how to defend their faith against the Baptists and all these other folks and I recognize just by that question that they need to spend time with Jesus because Jews can defend himself Amen so I said well listen Mr I want you to do this week no one has read John 173 in I want you to spend time with God and get to know him because this is the bottom line is knowing God. And so then I seems really elementary to us but you'd be surprised how many of our folks don't know. And if you've ever been in any board beach you'll realize they don't know God OK Amen and so. The 2nd week I went back there they were different they were different so what human doing well me and spending time knowing God I said Ok us great now this week I want you to spend a thoughtful hour each day with Jesus and get to know him and apply because your own life the 3rd week I came back they were totally changed people they weren't griping and complaining and moping around they were happy joyful it was on their faces I said you guys what are you doing you're telling this is change we've been in the stair all staying together now we're spending a thoughtful hours David Jesus so afraid is the word all right so that's that's when you do in. The title of today's presentation is how to keep it alive right so many times we go to an evangelistic series or we go through some spiritual meetings or something we go away and then we lose it right well how do you keep it alive here all right now growing and Grace 2nd Peter 318 but growing grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ growing in grace means that you're in constant agreement with him grow in constant agreement with Christ constant agreement means that you're continually going to submit your will to his as you do that you're going to find out that it was his well that was your will your your will becomes his well as you understand that my saying that sometimes I mess up my words that's right his will becomes our will we work in unity and why it took me awhile to even understand what they're talking about when they would hear this. This whole controversy will thing you know it sounds like a man he wants so much from me Well yeah that's how he's going to keep you safe it's like you tell your child as long as you stay right here with me as long as you're holding onto my hand and I've got a hold of you and by the way don't you hold your child in a way more securely than that child hold on to you absolutely as long as there is that child is with you you know he's safe you can protect him that's why Jesus says that you need to come unto me keep my commandments my commandments are ahead to about you that's a protective barrier against Satan it's all in him and he has our best good in mind well our family attempted to have worship but there was. Attitudes between the kids and Sorry folks I didn't honor when I 1st got this phone was like 1030 or 11 o'clock at night doorbell rang I told my husband that someone's at the door you don't have a doorbell it's my phone. But is this you know my my stepdad wanted to start taking this Priesthood leadership role in our family so he'd call us together it's time for worship and we're going to. It was so painful that man we had to turn the television off we had to stop what we were doing if we were playing outside we had to stop and come in and wash and sit there while he read the Bible. So wasn't very successful because we had this attitude we discouraged our parents and they quit it was easier than fighting with us right I wanted to be ready for Jesus to come I wanted remember I wanted that I love that picture but I didn't want the fitness for it I wanted the title I did not want the fitness and sometimes that's where we are he says they come together as my people come they hear my words but they will not do them sad isn't it you know let's not be in that category I didn't understand Sabbath keeping to me back in the olden days folks it was all presented as rules to my young heart Jesus was not the center of Sabbath keeping To me it was you can't do anything on Friday night to Saturday night and I look forward to Saturday night I wanted to be involved in the drill team in my high school and I wanted to go to those games and stuff and go to the dances you know where 7th Day Adventists now you can't do that and so what happens inside a young person like that you know it doesn't stick there's no relationship there this was a Sabbath school teacher of mine Ken money I don't know if I told these stories here because I didn't other seminar with some of the same story so if I did please forgive me I hear them again he was my saddle school teacher and I soon lost interest didn't go any more so I was baptized at 12 by the time I was 15 I stopped going to church and Sabbath school but can money this teacher would come and visit me. All right he would bring me the papers come to my house oh no it's kin money and he'd tell me that you know the cademy kids are home this week and want to come we're going to have a veggie roast in a social over a doctor Koons house and and I want you com OK I'll think about it thinks quack you know but before he leaves this is what. I'm praying for I'm current. Well that's nice thanks thanks can. When I was by the time I was 18 years old you know he kept coming over. Checking on me and then one time he came over and said I'm Jody I know how much you love music the heritage singers are doing a concert at church the Saturday night why don't you come and I'll have nothing else to do I'll go remember I didn't have very many friends everybody had their own little circle of friends in our Sabbath school for a young person who's just new and everything is new and unusual and you're kind of scared and nervous and there's all these little clusters of doctors kids and lawyers kids and and you know people who have status and nice clothes and everything and I just was not included and you know that has something to do with why some kids leave the church so anyway I went to this concert and they have some nice music and music is going to touch my heart more than anybody preaching Well it was a few exceptions I mean he does a pretty good job but. They were singing this song and it was like this. Son. Is proof enough for you. Someone is praying for you when it seeing as you're all alone and your heart will break and to remember someone is praying for you and. I have in my head can money that's right they gave in they gave an appeal and the appeal was really I think specific for me they said if the life that you're living is not fulfilling the. Feeling you want and you let Jesus have a chance to come forward let us pray for you and I just came forward it wasn't like I'm sitting there and I'm cry. As like I was propelled come hell or whatever you want to say to go forward and when I went to the front I received Christ as my Savior. I did not know what was going to happen to me I didn't understand what that meant all I knew is that my life was empty I was going in the wrong direction I wasn't what you call a while I want to be careful I didn't do the life that he did I didn't live his life I didn't smoke I didn't drink I didn't do drugs but I still did not have Christ you can be just as lost in the church as someone outside the church because he who does not have Christ does not have life I needed to build my spiritual house but I did not know where to start. After I was baptized for the 2nd time I was so whole so excited and I just expected the church to welcome me I expected them to put their arms around me and tell me how happy they were that I was home the sad thing is they never noticed I was gone. And so there I am 1918 I was almost 19 newly born Christian alone. Had no one until one took me under their wing no one. It was just me and God that's a good place is and so he said OK I'm going to take care of you you know why people leave the church is a kill says because there was no shepherd there was no one to look out for them but he also says I myself will search for my sheep and I myself will find them and I will feed them he says so I told the Lord this I had this old Bible said I don't know where to start I didn't know how to pray I didn't know anything I am just a total like a stand of trees there's a virgin forest I don't know anything but I did know this and I think it's because the Holy Spirit put it in my heart to get to know God That's what you need to do Jody get to know God And so I said wherever this opens up to is where I'm going to start and I went like this and it opened up to Romans Chapter 5 Verse one that's where I started my journey with Christ and what does it say as a 1st verse that I memorized therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Terminology I didn't know this is a King James Version. But this is this is it this is my bible it's a picture of my Bible though I underlined it I wrote the definition just if I had never sinned not seen God would help me figure it out this statement we had on Monday steps to Christ again hello page 62 if you give yourself to Him and accept Him as your savior then sinful as your life may have been for his sake you are accounted righteous Christ's character stands in place of your character and you are accepted before God just as if you had not been. If this is all you take with you from this whole seminar is what justification means you'll be OK just as if you had never sinned and now. I began to hunger and thirst you know that's of the Holy Spirit puts in your heart so hunger and thirst after righteousness after righteousness means just after more of God because God is righteousness His commandments are righteous he is right. And he puts that desire in you to know him why because the more you know him the more of his character his life is transferred to yours you start to be transformed into his image remember man lost that image of God in the garden and from that point it's been God's purpose his work to re what I say was a say to re-install re recreate to put restore that's it to restore his image in us and that's the lifelong process. The worst stubborn we've got a lot of baggage habits and he has to work through those but he can handle us. The Bible became my constant companion and as a teenager to go to prayer meeting on Wednesday nights was like. When you hear. I wanted to be where the Word of God was being presented I wanted to be where they were praying I wanted to be where I could hear some words of wisdom from some of those gray hairs in our church right now I don't have gray hair anymore. As bless it lasted if that's you if you want more and more and more it's like this cup that cannot be filled up you are considered blessed happy are you so John 154 says to abide in me and I and you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine neither can you unless you are by the ME What does it mean to abide in Christ if I say to you now you know where is your abode but would you say I don't know my boat is not your abode Kelly Holmes but your house or where is your abode. 20. Where where are we to abide where is our abode to be. Christ in you is the hope of glory to remain in Christ you hear this stay in Christ or to be in Christ is to be constantly saturated with Christ through the Scripture scriptures so to abide in Christ means that you are spending time here getting to know him your practice seen submission to His will that's abiding in Christ you're looking to Jesus for answers that's abiding in Christ he is now taken up residence in you he abides in you he said I abide in you so we abide in Him So it's like this partnership. How do you get started set time aside that's that's got to be it now some of you may have to go to work at 10 o'clock in the morning. Or 11. 6 King is a still too early to spend time in the morning what do you have to do get up earlier I told the Lord I told the Lord this I said because someone said you have to spend time early in the morning on I'm not an early morning riser Lord if you want to spend time with me then when you wake me up please at 6 o'clock 6 o'clock sounded like a reasonable hour right so I went to sleep I did not set my alarm and this is what happened I'm telling you the absolute truth this was not a dream it was like this. And a touch on my cheek I was awake I looked at my clock straight up and down 6 o'clock he wants to spend time with you he knows that the flesh is weak but he is there to help you it was hard for me in school I did not like to read I wasn't a reader I hated history I hated in English I had it all of that stuff a math was the worse. But he taught me how to enjoy the Scriptures how to study there were times I mean I would get going in it and he can tell you 2 or 3 hours later I'm still going because there's just so much. And then throughout the day I'll be I'll be doing this and the thought of coming to me and I go OK I've got to go write that one down boom write it down middle of the night. Serious OK I got to get up and write it down you know what I mean so how does he communicate with us is through His word he'll put in these thoughts that you need to remember and what you spin and the word during that day he's going to have you share with somebody else so it's not just for you OK make preparation have a place that you enjoy find a special place that you enjoy a room with a nice well maybe not too comfy of a chair but you know some light some natural light. And have your materials ready to go I told you I have I have to have sticky notes I have no pads with me I have pens if I have I don't know if I have my colored pins here but I have a Ziploc bag with all these color different colored liners so I have a yellow I have read I have find my markers so I have some interior ready some of you may not want to do it that way that's how I do it OK. When I just told you when I study I use highlighters and underline write notes etc and then pray start your Bible study with prayer. We don't know where to begin but he knows where we should begin for us for each individual ask the Holy Spirit to lead you that's what he does the Holy Spirit the one who guides you into all truth so if we do away with the Holy Spirit then we're not going to learn truth it's a Holy Spirit that does that so you need to ask for him ask him to guide you and in your prayer absolute Also this is something that I like to do Lord if there is something that we need to talk about in my life where you please. WE PLEASE OK just show it to me you know hard it is to ask him to show you something in your life because we sometimes don't want to know we want to think everything's cool but there might be something. We need to work on Syria ask him that in prayer and then listen Ingrid it's a good question Ingrid is asking where do you start how do you know is a good place to start if you're brand new and you want what's the purpose of the Bible study to know get to know Jesus start in the Gospels Gospel of John typically is easiest one to start in the Gospel of John you may not want to use a King James version you may want to find a more contemporary version to get to know him I like to have the King James New King James there the New King James Bible actually takes a King James Version and translates those words for you so the modern language that you hear is a translation of those harder words. So I thought that was pretty awesome but starting in the book of John is good for those who. Are new at it I don't recommend Romans that's why the Lord told me to start OK Who was she said was that she went to a week of prayer and they encouraged the students to put bookmarks in Genesis and songs and proverbs and the New Testament so you could read a little bit of each every day yes you take the old with the new we don't just we're not just New Testament Christians here all right steps to Christ says this prayer is the key in the hand of faith that unlocks Heaven's storehouse Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend that's page 95 out of such a Christ I didn't know how to pray but he taught me and my prayers were very simple very childlike at the very beginning Now I put a prayer closet in my house my husband put a shelf in there because I'm a desk a person so there's a shelf in there I've got my sticky notes I've got a little pin Caddy I have set it up like an office OK but. That's where I go it's my closet I took my clothes out of our closet and put it in another one so that's my closet and I have a little chair in there and it's quiet and that's where I can go and pray and as I'm praying for people I'm asking God to give me a promise for them and so the promise will come to my mind I'm going to write it on the sticky note with that person's name on it and BAM it goes on my wall so I seen I have sticky notes all over the wall now so I have a place where you can pray a prayer closet is a good one. Journaling is good also you know writing your prayer requests and writing answers as they come in going back at the end of the year and reading how God has led how he's answered your prayers fellowship is important do not for sake assembling together. If you're sick and you can't go to church then by all means turn on 3 A.B.N. But as much as possible spend your time in church I know during the summer it's great you want to go out and camp of the family get away you're going to have your own little church that's fine but by all means don't make that a regular practice week after week after week why because that church needs you and you need that church and that's how you know that the Apostles got together they met together they encouraged one another they had fellowship and that's how the church grew so you have fellowship this is my granddaughter my 2 grand he says Malakai 316 says This them those who fear the Lord spoke to one another and the Lord listened and heard them so a book of remembrance is written before him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate upon his name so if you want to have some some good journaling in the books of heaven you go to church and Sabbath school and prayer meeting and encourage one another and he's going to write it down why does he write it down because we have an accuser who wants to accuse us before God and he says look I've kept careful records to you just look on page whatever you find it and it's important to share your faith we're talking about how do you keep your experience alive sharing your faith to me OK so I had. I had experienced poorly chosen relationships when I was a teenager I ended up with my heart broken several times and but when I became a Christian I expected that things would be different in the church but they weren't. I was invited to go to a camp meeting my very 1st one down in Oregon it was the or you can't meeting and I went with this med student from Loma Linda who was a nephew of some of that I knew in the church and so I felt that was safe to do and so we went down there and he bring I mean he said I'm bringing the food don't worry about a thing so we go down this river and I'm thinking this is so cool I feel safe we're Christians I don't have to worry about someone want to take advantage of me here so we spread out the blanket he brings out the basket he puts up the plates and some food and then he brings out a bottle of wine and some stem glasses. And it's like OK I'm going to make a choice here did I want a relationship with somebody I did he was a med student. But when I saw that I chilled said I'm sorry I'm not partaking of this I'm going to. And I walked away from. It. And then I decided there were no Christian men I'm going to be my friend show you picture this is Debbie Debbie and I decided this may mean something to some of you but we were going to be like Laverne and Shirley the rest of our lives we were going to the Lord provided a friend for me and we encourage one another we studied the Bible together we prayed for each other and we helped each other along our way we were gunny sacks girls OK but. We were going to get this van together and pick up hitchhikers and tell them about Jesus. My mother did not like that idea. OK there is this coffee shop so I'm getting my 1st experience in witnessing there's a coffee shop in town where are the you know people would. You know they're playing a guitar and there's in their songs and drinking herbal tea and you know all this stuff and so to me says hey let's go down there and see if we can't witness once you bring your guitar Jody. Who me yeah bring and it'll be cool so I brought my guitar and you see that this is not the place but there's a stool up there and you could you could see and I thought OK as long as I can sing a Christian song that will be my way to witness so I'm up there and I'm playing my song the one that he heard me to do when they 1st met me in church and and it was cool it was great of witnessing as so much fun it was like this all the time OK so. He walks into my church now he told his side of the story I'm going to briefly tell you that so I'm up there singing my song right and I notice that these guys walk in my 1st thought was backsliders I know them anywhere right and I'm going to win them back to Jesus so after Sabbath school where all these preppy young adults were my friend Debbie and I would have been introduced ourselves now I am not interested in a relationship whatsoever I'm after souls and so we introduced ourselves and welcomed them to church he went his way we went our way went and I started some kind of a rebellion some of the other young adults we went outside and we're going to have our own church out there that's why I was called into the pastor study after services and he and temp were still there. And of course he told the story about driving away when the Lord says no you go back OK I'm not I'm not going back yes I'm going back but that's when we met we went up into the mountains together Tim played a flute I brought my guitar and it was a 4 of us Jed and Jody and Tim and Debbie and we had a wonderful So I'm telling you I've never had a Sabbath like that we shared our journey together we talked about our goals what we wanted We're not interested in a relationship we're not flirting to get attention we're focused on heaven we've got a job to do and we're going to do it for the Lord so he spent I mean they left that Sabbath but he came back so like every weekend he came back up to yeah come on we spent time together well I told my mom about the plan that Debbie and I had about getting of in and we're going to travel and pick up hitchhikers we went up to tips to Lake this is Washington State Rainier is that beautiful snowcapped mountains that's great. And she kind of thought wait a minute this hippie guy has a van. Is girls one of em and they're going to travel around a witness I don't think so but we did one week and he came up the 4 of us went together down the gorge the beautiful Columbia River Gorge you'll see Washington is over on the on this left this is Oregon this is Crown Point right here it's really beautiful scenic and were sharing one another where studying with one another we're just lifting each other up and we spent the entire weekend together in his then. Your eyes just went up. So no. It was totally innocent it was it was just innocent imperfect so we were walking on the beach that sat with morning just as those clouds are lifting up off the ocean and I went we all went our own different ways to have a personal time with the Lord and somehow the Lord brought us back together on that and we met he started talking a little bit and he says it may have been me I don't remember it was a long time ago you know a verse I'm thinking about and the other one said Genesis one in the beginning that's right that's what I'm thinking and so we walked together and we talked about how he wanted to serve God with our whole heart now he's much older than I am. He robbed the cradle. He used to. Go is this. 6 I was in 6th grade is graduating. He said. This is this is the route this is a rabbit Lewis and Clark took so many about him you hear their history buffs OK So anyway on the Oregon coast that's where we that's where God put us together God put us together we've been in ministry together for 40 years we started out that way and I think it's there's something different about having your relationship built 1st on your relationship with Christ and then let him build the relationship together so that together you walk with Him This is our honeymoon look at the hair on his had he had lots of it. My grandparents This is our van My grandma was like 411 my grandpa was 5 foot and. There they. Are van So where do I start where do you start you need to pray and ask God for an opportunity and open window right where do you start get out of your comfort zone how many of you like to share with others it's hard for those of you who are shy you mean to feel like you have nothing to say God will take care of it don't worry about it he said it's going to be the holy spirit that's going to give you words to say so what do I say I found this statement here it says as witnesses for Christ we are to tell what we know what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt or our experience we can tell how we have tested his promise and found the promise true we can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ this is the witness for which our Lord calls and for want of which the world is perishing. It might just be a flash you have a chance to tell somebody about Christ loves you and that's all you can say going your way but that may be all he wants to say he doesn't want you to give someone a sermon it is lunch to tell what you know what you have experienced what is grace done in your life for me if I were to tell you what I know what I personally have experienced my life was empty I had nowhere to go and Jesus Christ filled my voice and changed my life I am no longer as you can tell this skinny little girl who stands up against the wall with the Dutch boy haircut saddle shoes and strip pants that don't stay up and is called Dumb do we you can call me whatever you want but I know who I am in Christ. I'm not dumb do we say anymore I'm Jodi Jensen. And yes I will sometimes back away from a crowd and just sit and watch as I am shy but when God gives me the opportunity then it's him speaking to you not me some 41st hands as I will not hide I write just as within my heart you can't because when you accept Christ there is born in you in your heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend you have found in Christ it's put there if you don't know it's there yet then you need to talk with him about making sure that your heart is right with him because when you are born from above he puts that desire in your heart why because others need to know what you know they need to come to Christ to the Lord has taken us to many places together we've been in New York City 3 different times. They had a van ministry there and handing out sandwiches and soup to homeless people on the streets of New York City my daughter was 7 years old and she was standing outside that van people just walking past not looking but I'll reach out and grab whatever you have look at it and throw in the trash but it was in the trash somebody else is going to see it we've been to beliefs you had me preaching before thousands of people me by myself in the Philippines we went as a group but sometimes I mean there are Filipinos are bold they'll say OK you you you you come with us you go with them in you you're preaching to me all right. But he he changes. If you don't think you've got it in you watch out if he'll bring it OUT IN U.. Tell her you have tested his promise and found the promise true the promise was he said to me he would never leave me nor forsake me and that he has called me by my name I am his all these promises are stuck in my heart. There for me when I need them now. Peter 318 I don't think that's a right vs whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these you might be a partaker that's a computer one for right. One for should be the reference or you might one make a change and some 3480 taste and see that the Lord is good bless it is the man that trusts him now I had to learn to trust God and I learned the way he taught me was by answering my prayers I was working in a restaurant and I would get tips so I kept my quarters in a jar and then I'd roll them up and so I was saving up to buy a car and I had $200.00 in rolled quarters saved up to buy my car and this was back in $1075.76 and back then you can actually buy used car for $200.00 down payment so I asked my Dad can we start looking for a car and he said sure and certain I can so I picked up a giant nickel or one of those papers right. I had in my mind what kind of car I wanted. So I Computer one for I had in mind what I wanted it was a 1976 Monza 2 plus 2 is what I wanted but I did not say that to the Lord I just prayed for a car so Lord I have 200 dollars to help me get a car please so he's going to answer my prayer so in this paper guess what ad I find for sale take over payments 976 Monza 2 plus 2 hatchback $200.00 and take over payment. And I'm just like. I. Was what was in my heart isn't there a promise that says he'll give you the desire of your heart so he went on this is not the actual car but this is kind of what it looked like mine was black outside with red and white interior It was a bicentennial edition I was so happy with that I did I bought the car gave that lady $200.00 and rolled quarters and she gave me the key and the payment booklet and that was my car I mean my faith I'm learning to taste and see that the Lord is good. When we 1st got married this was our our promise we claim together Philippians 46 this is out of the Living Bible don't worry about anything instead pray about everything tell God what you need and thank him for all that he has done simple right so we continued claiming promises memorising them when I say memorizing them that's what you need to do memorize right Bible verses down right promises down on 3 by 5 card and post them all over your house by seeing them often guess what's going to happen that's going to start translating in your brain Philippians 413 was another one my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus Now why do I have a picture of a toilet with that bible verse there's a story behind that you know we were just poor kids when we got married and we were it was hard to make ends meet he was doing construction and it's feast or famine right and so I'm a young mother at home I've got a baby I'm washing diapers in the bath tub hanging them all over the place because I didn't have money for the laundromat and I'm crying to the Lord Lord I don't want to have the beans and rice again you know we had Puerto Rican friends and that's what they ate so we've got hooked on beans and rice. And so I'm just kind of praying and God's going to get us out of this dull drums and so one day I'm cleaning my bathroom and underneath the daughterly another one on this one but underneath the doily on the back of the tank was a folded up $50.00 bill. Where in the world did that come from God just dropped it out of the sky I guess so we're sharing this at prayer meeting right the miracle that God did a prayer meeting and then our friends rowing Carolyn came up after says I am so thankful you found that I put that there about 3 weeks ago. But then God let me find it sometimes he left he wants us to continue to press him it's not just pray once and here you go it's to build our faith to build our trust to build patience to wait upon him we had people we hear this in the middle of the night and we hear. Running we go answer the door and there are couple bags of groceries at our doorstep you know God took care of our needs we claim the promise and he did it he's building our faith we decided that we were going to pay tithes and pay 10 percent offering. How are we going to do this and I keep record of all my outgoing how much we come in and you should know me by now that I'm going to have columns OK outgoing bills cost income this is what we have at the end and it never never came with a plus balance how are we going to do that but we need to trust he said Bring all the time into the storehouse and try me now he said that I will not open to see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you. And so we did that we took on at his word he said Lord here it is it was it was hard we paid tied to present time tempers and offering it was hard to give that submitting to God is hard sometimes but when you do it and trusting God I will trust you I have to trust you with this and he says that's where I warn you trusting me you know what after we did that I always had a plus balance there's always some left over the way he worked was miraculous he got hurt at work labor in industries came through and paid for it because our income level dropped we were living in low income housing our rent was based on our income level so we went from $200.00 rent to $2.00 rent God took care of everything I find money in my guitar case people would ask me can you babysit for me here's $20.00 for the day so we had what we needed for every day very rich experience. Tell what you have known of the grace of Christ Grace is undeserved favor but it's also a constant agreement with God what have I known of the grace of Christ when I thought it was all right because I didn't do drugs and alcohol he revealed to me that I'm just as lost as I didn't have him but he said you can have me and I accepted him and he received me and he cleansed me and made me right with him price object lessons page $148.00 your testimony and as genuine as he will make powerful in the life to come the word of the Lord will be in your mouth as truth and righteousness God adds power to your testimony now what if you feel like you don't have one you're not been out there and you know in the the gutter. You've always been kind of a church person your whole life this is a song of my daughter saying so as I felt sometimes I didn't have a story I could share I wasn't rescued from a past destroyed by dark despair all but Jesus I have memories of the times that we've been through and I wouldn't trade one moment of growing up with you I came to love you early I came to know you young you touched my heart your Jesus when my life had just begun I gave you my tomorrows and a childish heart of sin and you saved me from a lifetime of what I might have been that my friends is a testimony God's grace can save you from what you might have Revelation 1211 they overcame him who is him. By what. By the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony that's how you overcome the devil so you're looking with him in service and I'm sorry but I am running out of time to be yoked to a service is one of the keys to maintaining your relationship with Jesus we become tired sleepy and drowsy and when we're not busy and active right so get out there the yoke that Jesus speaks of is a common instrument of labor these animals are yoked together we are yoked together with Christ in service for him doing it getting involved in outreach is through your church starting out reaches through your church starting small groups in your church leading people sharing your testimony that's how you grow that's how you keep it alive if you just go home and live your life just me and my house you're going to stagnate he wants you out there it's like a bird pushing you out of the nest now. You've been given gifts and talents use them for his service and don't waste them saying if you have to be involved in Pathfinders do a Bible study get involved in community services we worked with the food bank every week we were there I met many at the food bank and she was a Mexican woman with 4 little kids and low income I mean she's come into a food bank but we developed a relationship I would not have met many had I not been at the food bank she asked me one time if I could come and help her find Jesus OK so we went to her house and she spoke Spanish her aunt was there she had a cousin she had a couple of friends there none of those understood English so I'm telling her about Jesus and what is she doing translating to them when she didn't hear it from me she translated to them comes back to her ear and her language so she can understand you're not going to meet those people if you're not out there I taught many how to do tomatoes I taught her how to make bread she had an abundance of tomatoes I said many come on over and I hope you can these really yeah it'll help you you know she didn't want to open those jars they were so beautiful it was just like gold to her red is a language of love you don't know what to say to somebody bake a loaf of bread and take it to them that will speak loudly OK. And remember this is important testimonies Volume 9 page 10 we have nothing to fear for the future except we shall forget the way the Lord has led us and he is teaching in our past history you're not going to fear the future except you forget how God is let those of you who want to journal keep those journals I have several journals I'm sorry that we have filled out and we go back through and we really read them so that we can remember how the Lord has led us and what does it do to our faith. Bolsters it it helps us now I can stop here or I can continue on for a few more minutes and tell you about being prepared for trial you know how many of you can stay all right if they have to cut it short you know name I don't know if they have a limit on the recording so being prepared for trial all of this stuff all year if you're building your spiritual house your foundation is the Word of God and then you start claiming promises you see that God is real and that he loves you and it's build your faith is being built to prepare you for trial if you don't have your She's in your foundation when that trial comes what's going to happen it's going to take you down right the House is going to fall down this is one of my least favorite verses in the whole Bible Romans 828 and we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord to those who are called according to his purpose the reason why this was my late one of my least while my least favorite verse was because when I stared about my 2 ectopic pregnancies I did not know how any good could come from it I did not see the good in it. I shared the I didn't. But but this is the this is the last part of it we were doing a week of prayer and I had just resigned myself Lord I don't know why but I'm just going to trust you anyway so years go by right and I'm kind of over that but it's still kind of in my mind we're doing a week of prayer and we would share similar to what we're sharing with you with the students and I'm about ready to talk about how discouraged and how doubt and fear was overcoming me and that I didn't get it Lauren I don't get it OK when it's like it's like here I am speaking and then I'm just. Stop frozen you know how they stop the real and there's a a messenger from heaven comes as I've got the answer for you now Jodie plume there it is and in my mind as to attain slee it was there because I know why in here is the good you're right I did perform a miracle I had hemorrhage so badly there was no possibility of me ever conceiving again but I did I did perform a miracle for you yes but the greater miracle was this Jody that my grace is stronger than your doubt and fear and stronger than your encouragement and my strength is made perfect in your weakness I got you through and I was with you that's a greater miracle than giving you another child and so it's OK Lord I can handle that so this this is Kevin I had a new assignment after we left our protective bubble of self-supporting education and my husband prayed as we decided to leave after 21 years from working in a sense to Sion he prayed this Lord send this to the darkest place in the world so that we can live out the Gospel and people can see Jesus living in a US And so he sent us 100 miles west to Yakima Washington Yakima Washington is where I grew up that's where we met Yakima Washington per capita population of 89000 at that time is equal with Miami Florida for Vice crime drugs meth violence per capita. Oh he did send us the darkest area so my new assignment is I am poor and into a GED lab for at risk teens these kids who can't make it in the regular school system they've been kicked out they're gangsters they're Fallon's they're drug dealers they're pushers they're pregnant or prostitute prostitutes their pimps I had them all in my classroom my 1st day. It walk in holding up their pants with their hoodies walking in and there is a dog in there and they're not there are silent going and this is my new experience and I cry to the Lord. Lord. You made a mistake here I don't belong here kick me out well my bad boys were my 1st experience I had 4 of them came in and then they caused a whole bunch of trouble we had computers that line the lab is about this big actually and on every one of them was this rap music or M.T.V. nasty stuff and kids are just out of control now I had control of my classroom when I was teaching but here this is beyond me so I just prayed to God to get me out of there he says you can't minister you're not ready you cannot share with others what I've done for you why because I had built up prejudice in my mind already I was afraid of them so I'm doing my devotions and I'm over here in the book of Jeremiah and I am reading this OK behold when he says that was that mean pay attention. I have put my words in your mouth I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out and to pull down to destroy to throw down to plant and to build. I am in this lab Jodi you are here with these kids to show them Jesus you're going to root out and build up we're going to root out their life and give them a new hope OK but I didn't come to I mean I didn't realize that that's what it was for me but then when I got down here chapter one verse 17 says Therefore prepare yourself get up and speak to them all that I command you do not be dismayed by their faces lest I dismay you before them. Still not realizing what's going on then I get down here to verse 19 they will fight against you but they shall not prevail against you for I am with you says the Lord to deliver you and then he says this is for you those kids this is those kids Jody and I thought Lord why me I Jeremiah I am not a child I cannot speak I can't come in and go out this is Kevin if you look a little intimidating. Kevin was 6 foot 3 and over $300.00 pounds. Now Kevin wore this thing on his head like a hair net they call it a do rag I call it a do da. It was a rule you couldn't wear those I'm supposed to be in charge I have to enforce the rule Kevin comes in. Big Boy and I'm a white woman with gray hair in that classroom silver it was white I'll show you a picture of you don't believe me. And I have to tell Kevin he's got to take that thing off. I said Kevan you've got to take that off. Say what. You got to take that dude off though what I mean he was indignant with me he says you know what's going to happen if i take us off and I said Well go get some water put it on there I don't care but Kevin was. Very special young man to me 17 it's going to be there until they're 18 and they're out on their own. But my kids would come in they're not having breakfast many of them slept in cars or outside they had no homes they were homeless lot of them and so I decided you know the Lord told me some food in there give the table bring some food so I used my own money bought me a packets muffin and cereal mount a little coffee pot thing for hot chocolate I had juice I had fresh fruit you know it was spread out these kids would come in in the. Eating and you know what things change in the room when they were eating coming comes in eats right so I'm noticing one day I just put a big old box Cosco box of oatmeal packets what happened to it. I know kids don't like it isn't all that much but I caught Kevin stuffing those packets in and saw I want to say hey brother what are you doing and he was so embarrassed I could tell he blushed Oh man and Joey as. Well I have no home OK and I'm hungry this gets me through till tomorrow I said then take it all you don't have to take it like this just come and talk to me about it Leo was another one he was mean and he was forced to go to that GED Lab his peers Oh Officer her role officer brought him in and said This boy needs to stay here if he leaves you call me leo did not want to be there. So you know my job is to give him the here's a booklet it's a place a booklet that's all do the test just do the best you can just to let me know where to start your GED process so others are doing their stuff but Leo he's just like talk I'm not there some obscenities and causing problems over there and a stocking I'm thinking. Help me. Heal because I OK this just be requited work OK yeah yeah all right Miss no problem so pretty soon he's doing the same thing 3 times and I said you know if you can work quietly here I've got a nice room over there you can work yeah no problem miss so he does it again and so I think I have one I have to enforce my rule. So finally and help me God he says don't be afraid of the faces he will fight against you but they will not prevail for I am with you we'll take your stuff you're in there so I look as teacher and as I can. He stands up powers over me so wipes everything up across the room cuss me out because you can't make me I said you're right but I can call security and out he went what I have to do you have to call his P.O. he's going to be really mad at me he comes in and gets a report and everything so the next day this is Friday I get to the office of you know the lab early Guess who's waiting for me bright and early he's sitting outside the door and I said Lord please somehow tell my family that I love them. And you know for give me for any sin. Just make sure I'm right with you are. And she says don't be afraid it's OK so I went and greeted him morning Leo How you doing grumble grumble. I said are you going to the fair you can mean I can afford to go to the fair and I said look my brother printed up some tickets I'll give you 4 of them are mine and say what So yeah and I've got those wristbands mine and I'm going to you my brother gave him to me to give away from that point when you and I were friends but see it's all about all about having using that desire that he put in you I have so many stories of these kids and they see what I am what I absolutely need to tell you and then. All that you have the statement on actually Apostles page 524 on your outline I'd like for you to read that it's full of wonderful encouragement this one here the ministry of healing page 474 if you don't understand why you have some of the trials that you have and you don't have an answer right now this one has meant so much to me. And the future life the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us will be. Amen we shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest last things working with those kids was like the best experience of my life because it taught me a lot about myself and I could actually show them a loving Savior somebody who didn't already know all the answers so let's go ahead and have prayer. LORD me thank you so much for all that you have given for us to do for you and I pray that each one of us will ask you what you want me to do for you. Because it's in service it's in giving ourselves to Him and service that he gives himself to us and we want more and more and more of you more of Jesus in our lives so that we can reflect him to the world and then you will call. I thank you for this opportunity Lord to share with these folks this week. And I ask them to. Pray for us as we go JESUS in. 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