S R - December 2012
The year 2001 my life was chaotic, I felt drawn strongly to go to church , I was " born again" and had a dramatic experience. My habits changed overnight I was set free.
I was so grateful for this change ( knowing God is real ) I was determined to serve Him forever .
In the first year I went on a mission trip to the Philippines where I told anyone who would listen about God and Jesus .
I felt I could never do enough to please God I owed Him He had done so much for me, he had sent his son to die for me. I had been so ungrateful living my own terrible life I was told he who has been forgiven much, loves much ( got to be me) I asked the Pastor what is Gods Grace? I was told its the ability to do works, also the scripture said Eph 2:10 that I should work so I attended every programme every meeting I couldn't do enough
I was told in the church that one started from the bottom cleaning toilets etc before one could be recognised , I wanted God to see that I was a loyal subject, I dedicated at least one hour a day to read the bible and to work hard to please this angry God who could never be satisfied. I worked continually, I fed the poor in caravan ministry went to several trips to the Philippines and Africa, tent ministry in Australia convincing people to give their hearts to Jesus but never understanding this love of God, there was something missing I never knew Jesus or God
In 2010 after coming from the church once again feeling totally condemned I was beginning to dread Sundays I was exhausted, what was this all about ?
I visited my daughter Paula who encouraged me to watch a preaching from Joseph Prince saying condemnation was from the Devil. Wow!! that was a revelation, God was opening my eyes. I left the church and began my voyage of discovery, I began to realise that Jesus had finished the work and that I didn't need to continually repent - it had stopped when Jesus died ,also I was complete in Him I didn't need anything else, all was within me.
I had realised this was different ,God loves me and I had heard a different Gospel. I tried to find a church that was going to tell me of God's love. I went to see Steve McVey( had never heard of him ) he was talking about this loving God and again my eyes were opened to this God who loves me I was in tears for days.
I had a problem, people were saying I was wrong, be careful wrong doctrine and I lost many friends. I found I was defending my God as if He needs my help, no no. I now find I can rest in His Grace I don't have to.
I am now in a group of like-minded people loving my journey in the Grace of God and His love, this is so much better than living in fear and continual striving.
P H - November 2012
I was saved in 2001 from a life of self-destruction pain and grief and on the verge of yet another suicide attempt. I had never been to church or had any idea who Jesus was. One day out of the blue I decided to go to church, with my mum, who also had never been to church. I received the love of God into my heart; I was radically transformed and changed and thus began my journey with Jesus.
It wasn't long before I was attending 3 meetings a week, prayer meetings, bible college, mission trips, conferences, running the women's ministry and of course, as I was so very good (pun intended) I was cleaning the toilets, all of this and being a single mum to two children as my first husband had passed away 2 years earlier from cancer. I also prayed 4 hours a day read my bible religiously and was disconnected from the rest of world in case I caught something, ha-ha.
I lived in fear. Fear that if I didn't tithe my children and I would be cursed , Fear that if I didn't pray we were not under Gods protection, Fear that if I didn't read the word, say the word, declare the word - I wasn't living the word. I was told by my pastor that if I go to another church / meeting etc that I risk coming out from the churches umbrella of protection and risk being attacked by the Devil. He also said that if we commit sin we were going to hell. I desperately wanted to do the right thing for my children (and I who were also a part of this brainwashing - I strived and strived.
I kept failing, no matter what I did, I kept screwing it up. I hadn't had any alcohol for a few years, when I had a few drinks with a friend. The next day I called a meeting with my pastor and declared that I was unfit to lead the women's ministry - as I had failed. I was a failure through and through, my pastor let me off with a warning.
Not long after this I resigned as leader and was told I would lose my anointing which I believed. I had been saved 5 years. I sat in the car on the way to a wedding in Broken Hill, an 18 hour trip, I cried and cried, poor pitiful me I thought to myself.
Then I read my first 'grace' book, Jim Richard's "Grace the power to change." I had no one to share my new understanding of the gospel with, I stopped going to church - as it was so clear that the churches I attended were legalistic and controlling.
Thus began my journey in grace I asked myself, is it true that Jesus died on the cross and it's a finished work? I don't have to do anything to be accepted by him and that he loves me right where I'm at, that it's not about me but about Him. I felt like I had met Jesus for the first time. I also became very angry when I realised the lies I had been fed.
My internet became my best friend where I met Grace Walk, with Steve McVey, Bertie Britts Andrew Wommack, I devoured book after book as this new revelation grew in my heart, so many grace preachers speaking truth and not condemnation. The bible took on new meaning as I saw a God of love acceptance and truth instead of rejection and anger. I'm still on the journey and still so much to learn so exciting, and it's constantly changing - not dull and lifeless like it used to be.