|Sarah||When I was little, I believed in God. I didn't understand Him at all, but I still knew He was there. Every night I said my little prayer. When I was eight, my family and I would from time to time attend a little Methodist church out in the middle of nowhere. How coincidental that the only times when they would show up were the times when they would have a pot-luck. It was a very dead church. There was no spirit. I didn't like to go. I thought it was boring. I began to act less and less like a Christian.
At about that time, my sister began to change. She started to have different friends. She told me there was a difference in Witchcraft and Satanism. She had a girl over once. While we were walking in the woods, she told me I was a natural-born witch. This seed led to a road of darkness. I was very excited. I thought I was cool now. I didn't know that the place I was going wasn't very "cool" at all.
Around age 11, I watched a movie called "The Craft." I remembered what the girl said about me being a natural-born witch. I was tantalized. I fell in love with the mystery and "wisdom" that it offered. That was when I became focused on witchcraft. I immediately went to my room, hung a red mystical curtain over my doorway ( I didn't have a door), and constructed what I would soon call an altar. I put a cloth over an old desk and put many candles on it. At night I would turn off all of the lights, light the candles, and try to conjure spirits. I still believed in God and Satan at that point. I began to ask Satan into my life at school in PE when we didn't have anything else to do. For all of the people who think your children are naÔve, you are dead wrong.
In the fifth grade, I found a book at the library about witchcraft. I hid it in my jacket and walked out. I was an extremely sneaky person. I didn't want my parents to know that I was getting interested in the occult. The book was extremely vague. I didn't understand it, but I still liked it and wanted to be involved. I barely understood something about a goddess, nature, and the elements. Still, it was enough for me to have a beginning. Now that I think back on it, witchcraft is so much similar to groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, or the Catholics; no structure or foundation. They changed their religion to please themselves instead of changing themselves to please God.
My darkness grew as I began casting spells, invoking spirits, and trying to form covens. I told many people that I was a witch. I had a coven of four fifth-graders gathering together at my house to do spells and chant. That would put many Christians to shame today: an 11 or 12-year old child recruiting witches while they were just sitting there, keeping their pew warm.
In the sixth or seventh grade I learned about a witchcraft shop in town. My sister took me to it. I soaked everything in. I saved up for a book I found in that shop, and even got a pack of Tarot cards for my birthday. The book was "To Ride a Silver Broomstick" by Silver RavenWolf. I began to learn more and more about "wicca". I learned that there was a god stuck in there somewhere to go along with the goddess, and they were complementary to each other (although the female was inevitably stronger, which is just another way that satan used to contradict the bible). I learned all of these rules concerning time of day, month, and year to do spells; what color candles to use, what kind of incense, all of the symbols and every piece of mumbo-jumbo I needed to perform a spell, (which they said was just a prayer involving props).
I was also very cynical towards Christians. The witchcraft books talk a great deal about Christianity. They didn't believe in it, but they sure were obsessed with discrediting it. They said all of the things Christians did that were wrong. They put all sorts of Bible verses out of context. They constantly questioned the judgement of God (ie: would a just God do that?) They also taught that all positive religions were good for you and helped in the karmic cycle. Silver RavenWolf said that if you imagine a huge diamond with millions of facets on it and wicca as the top facet (which is the biggest and the most important, of course they were trying to be the most correct way), then that was what the world religions were like. You could believe in anything and it will basically work, excluding Christianity. The Bible says that the cross offends.
I understand so much now as to why we targeted and focused so much on discrediting Christianity. We were taught the evil of monotheism, or in other words Christianity. Islam was never attacked, even though it focused on violent force and the belief in one God. Judaism was rarely ever talked about. In fact, I didn't even know the link between Jews and Christians until after I got saved. But that is coming up soon.
I searched so hard for spirituality. I wanted power. I poured over those books looking for peace. My head was filled with an endless supply of meaningless "wisdom." I thought I had it all.
In the ninth grade I began looking towards drugs and alcohol. I started with little things at first. I thank God that I never got involved too heavily. It was just marijuana, pills, and alcohol. I did, however, get addicted to other things. I began to read books by Anne Rice. It soon became an obsession; an addiction. I read the books over and over, and fantasized about characters from the books. It became almost a reality. I began to have vampiric dreams. I wanted to become a vampire. The romance and mystery had me hooked.
I sank lower and lower. I craved spirituality, and I tried to fill up my life with things that made me temporarily happy. But they say it is darkest right before dawn. In August, right before tenth grade was to start, I was invited to a church from a God send. I'll call her Bonnie. She was the only Christian I had ever respected in my life. Even though I was mostly brain washed into thinking Christians were stuffy, hypocritical people, they could never change my mind about Bonnie. She was wise, spiritual, and very loving. That is what got to me. She always loved me. She worked with my mom before I was born. All of my life, she was there. That is why I accepted her invitation to go to church.
On that first time that I went to church, I had bleached blond hair, wore camoflauge pants and shirt, and boots. I got in that building, and it just had such a wonderful feeling. The place oozed with love and acceptance. From that moment on, my philosophy began to change. I knelt at the altar at the end of the service to pray to my goddess and god, but they seemed insignificant. I knew God was real, and he was there. Within the next two or three weeks, I accepted Jesus into my heart as my personal Lord and Saviour. He has worked on me and molded me into the person I am today. That was one year ago. I am seventeen years old now. This has been the most wonderful year of my life. I have been changed from the inside out. Since then, God has recently made me into an intercessor.
I have faced many trials and tribulations, but I have one thing now that I searched for and grasped at for five years: peace. God has freely given to me the things that I once wanted so badly but never could get without being in his will. If you aren't a Christian, I urge to become so. It is the most amazing thing you will ever do in your life. You will have peace, hope, and love. But most importantly, you'll have a saviour named Jesus.
My name is Ronda and this is the story of my son, Christian. I was raised a Christian and went to the first Church of God in Springfield Ohio until I was about 11 years old. My parents stopped going to Church and got a divorce when I was 12 years old. I never really gave God any thought for a long time.
When I was 24 years old I met and fell in love with a man named Charlie. Charlie had a problem, some called it bi-polar, others called it paranoid-schitsophrenic. I didn't really know God when I met Charlie. Charlie told me that I needed to get closer to God, that I had forgotten who had put me on this earth.
We had a child together when I was 26 years old. We named him Christian. Six months after Christian was born, Charlie went into what is called stress induced Psychosis, or in other words, he wigged out. He tried to kidnap Christian, when I told him it would be over my dead body, Charlie proceeded to try to kill me. The police were called and Christian was taken into protective custody.
I spent the next six weeks praying to God for the return of my son and he told me to do whatever I had to do to get that boy back After agreeing never to let Charlie see Christian again, moving 3 times, praying, psychological evaluations, praying, drug tests, praying, parenting classes, praying, and many many court dates I finally got back custody of my precious son.
I moved on with my life, went back to college and got a job in a hospital. I met a man named Donnie and we got married. We gave Christian a little brother named Cody and life was perfect.
One Sunday morning in when Christian was 5 years old, he woke up at am screaming. I jumped out of bed rushed to his room and asked him what was wrong. He told me that he turned on his bedroom light and it was hurting his eyes. I felt his forehead and he was burning up with fever. Then he started vomiting. I assumed he just had a touch of the flu, but I called the pediatrician anyway, she called me back in the middle of her Church service.
She told me to give him pedialyte and if he couldn't keep it down take him the the ER where I worked. Well he did not keep it down, so I took him to the hospital. While we were there his pediatrician was called again and she left the Church to come and take care of him. She had a blood test run and told me that his white cell count was extremely high, that it indicated a serious infection, and that we needed to find the source of the infection. She asked Christian who I was and he just looked at me with a blank stare and said "I don't know who she is. It broke my heart that my son did not know who I was.. After she had exhausted all the other possibilities she told me that she had arranged for Christian to be transferred to the local Children's hospital. He needed to get a spinal tap, she believed he had spinal meningitis. I was devastated. I called my husband who met me at the other hospital
The spinal tap came out positive.
Four Doctors told me at 3 am that Christian would not be leaving the hospital for quite some time and that when and if he did leave he would be deaf, blind and probably retarded, he would not be able to walk the list went on and on. I left that room and went to the Church Chapel and prayed for God to please help my little boy.
After 12 days in the hospital he was back to his normal self. Today he is a perfectly normal 14 year old boy, is on the honor roll at school and skateboards all the time.
Thank you heavenly father for answering my prayers! Ronda
I was trapped in a Homosexual lifestyle; well I was a success as far as the World could tell a good job, nice home, and a Lexus! Does it get better Than that? Oh yes, and a different guy every Saturday Night, That all Changed in the fall of 1995, let me tell you just what happened.
I noticed a real cute guy who lived down the street, He drove a Small truck with a Harvest Crusade bumper sticker, Now I had been a Mormon for 25 years, although not active all those years, I knew about Harvest Christian Fellowship, and Pastor Greg Laurie, it was part of the Calvary Chapel. And every year at the Anaheim Stadium they had a "Crusade " and a lot of long haired people who had nothing else to live For gave their lives to Jesus, Well I thought if that is what this guy Believed, then I could " convert " him into being a Homosexual real easy. I even sent him a note, although I didn't sign it. No matter, I was Going to somehow meet him and he would like me. Since he was a " Born Again Christian " I had better get to know something about it. I had a C-Band Satellite dish, and got " Z " music channel, Christian Music MTV Style network. I bought some CD's Michael Card, Wayne Watson, and Gary Chapman, and Maranatha Music one too.
An SDA friend invited me to a Michael Card Concert at Loma Linda Campus Church, in Oct. 1995. Also I Invited my Neighbors over for Thanksgiving Dinner. Something just kept drawing me to " Harvest Dude " as I had nick Named him, Well Thanksgiving came, and I found out " Harvest Dude's " Name was Joe, but he would not be able to make it, He was single, and going to his parents for dinner, but he did come over and thanked me for inviting him. But the neighbor, who lived next door to Joe, Ruben came over. Ruben's wife had left him, and he had no place to go for dinner. Also, Terry, the lady across the street from me who was divorced, came over, Ruben was born again, and went to Harvest, Terry was not attending any church at the time, so Ruben invited Terry and I to Harvest. We had a great dinner, and agreed that the following Sunday, Terry, Joe, (He Found out later) Ruben and I would all attend Church. Well it was a shock! A live band on stage, (not in your wildest dreams in the Mormon Church) and everyone was dressed like they were Going to the beach! And Pastor Greg was a bald headed 40 year old! , Not at all like I had heard, a longhaired hippie freak. Well the " Praise Music" was loud and not " The old rugged cross " Songs like "Lord, I Lift your name on high " " Awesome God " and " I love your Grace."
Also The people seemed to be singing to God, not to just sing out loud. Pastor Greg read from the Bible, not just one verse, but a whole Chapter! And then explained it in modern terms, and even made me laugh! The meeting had started at 6 p.m. and it was now 8 p.m. Two hours at Church? Pastor Greg did an altar call and about 50 or 60 people went Forward. I remember thinking I don't need to go I was a Mormon, and knew All about Jesus.
The next week was " Hell " the water heater blew up at 2 a.m. things at my job started looking real bad, and the Lexus was giving me some trouble, also I had just broke up with a guy, and as I drove the car into the garage, I thought about letting the door close behind me and turning the radio on and just let the exhaust build up in the garage and I would just drift off to sleep forever. But something stopped me.
I went to church the following Sunday and it was about the same, but this time I almost got up at the altar call, but I said that was stupid, I already knew the Lord. Or so I thought. The week went along fine, Christmas was going to be on Monday, and it was now Saturday. I was getting out of the shower, when all of a sudden I started to cry, and I don't mean a little! Sobs and a feeling of doom came over me. I went to my bedroom and knelt by the side of the bed, I started to pray like I'd never had before, I told God that I was sorry, that I knew the life I was living was wrong, I now had no tears left, just heavy sobs, and my side hurt I never felt so bad in my whole life, then inside my mind came these words " My Son, I love you, I Forgive you." WOW! I can't tell you the joy and love that I felt, and when I got up from that prayer I had lost all my desire to sin. I no longer had a lust for men, Praise God. He had removed all that from me, and the next day was Christmas Eve, and at 9 P.M at a Christmas Eve service at Harvest Christian Fellowship I gave my life publicly over to Jesus Christ.
I latter told Ruben, and Joe about the letters I had sent, Joe said "Praise the Lord, I have a new brother in Christ " Ruben also praised God. And said, " It doesn't matter anymore." No matter what the sin, the answer is Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? Do you know that if you died today where you would be? Romans 3:10 tells us " As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one." Also in Romans Godís Word tells us "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinnedó", We can see by reading Godís Word, that no man can stand in his own righteousness and that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Because God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The inspired Word of God also tells us in Romans 10:13 for "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Have you called on the name of the Lord? Jesus tells us in Mark 16:16". But he who does not believe will be condemned. "There is a place called hell, it is real. The Bible speaks of it as a place of eternal torment. Eternally apart from God. Again I ask you if you died today where would you go? Heaven with God, or hell apart from God Forever?
Godís Word tells us " that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10). Would you like to have all your sins forgiven, and know today that You are a child of God? You can. Just say this prayer, and really mean it. " Lord Jesus, I confess I am a sinner, I now turn from my sins, and asked you to forgive me, to come into my life. Thank-you for dying for me, Thank-you for forgiving me. In Jesus name Amen."
If you just said that prayer, and really meant it, Jesus Christ has just entered your life. Welcome to the Family of God! In John Chapter 1 verse 12 and 13 it says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." In John Chapter 3 verse 3 Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. " If you said that prayer you are born again, with a spirit, and you would be led by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, How? By reading and learning the Word of God, the Bible, and fellowshipping with true believers in Jesus Christ. In the Book of Acts it tells about the early Church and everything that is taught there will show the signs of good healthy church.
UPDATE: Jan 2002: Well, after asking Jesus into my heart in Dec. 1995, The Lord richly blessed me! And for One full year all of the homosexual thoughts and desires were gone, but then, one day when I was seated in church, singing a worship song, someone in a tank top and shorts walked down the isle to find a seat, and thoughts so perverse entered my mind with such force, that I really had to turn my head to see if the people seated on either side of me heard my thoughts! Well, I thought, Iíd lost my salvation, here, I had told everyone that Iíd been delivered from homosexuality, now a year later, I was starting to have those old thoughts and desires return! Who could I go to? I thought all my new Christian friends would run away from me now!
Well, as you know, our Lord is so faithful, and He placed godly men in my path, and well, they had never struggled with homosexuality, they were able to reassure me that I was still ďsavedĒ and that I needed to take up my cross daily and follow Him!
I donít know if I will ever be totally free from the thoughts and temptations of homosexuality, I pray, and see the Lordís guiding hand in my life. I agree with God that it is sin. And the desire is getting less, and less. But this I know, I will never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what is amazing, is that Jesus Christ is not ashamed of me! I encourage all believers to be open and honest with their struggles.
"God resist the proud, but He gives grace to the humble." James 4:6
God bless you as you follow Him, if you need any help or have any questions please let me know