Steve and Denise Douglass
Pastor Wayne Finley
Aaron and John Link
Fern and Connie Welch
I was raised in a pastor’s home and was in church every Sunday from day one. As a result, I went through several years of my childhood believing that since I was good, my parents were good, and since I was always at church, I had everything covered and I was good to go. At the age of ten, I came to the realization that I had to have a personal relationship with Christ and that there was no way I could ever be “good” enough to provide salvation. Salvation could only come from Christ. I accepted Christ as my savior at the age of ten and began to fully understand what mercy and grace really look like. There is nothing we can do on our own that is good enough to “earn” salvation. Likewise, there is nothing bad enough in our past that Jesus cannot forgive. Salvation doesn’t depend on us in any other way than acceptance and faith. It was a great day when I realized those realities.
Before I accepted Christ my life was so hopeless. As I searched to find peace and contentment nothing the world had to offer filled it. Since I asked Jesus to be my Lord and began my relationship with Him, I have peace. Even in less than desirable situations, He’s my constant source of peace.
I asked Jesus to be my Savior as a young adult (20 years old). I sincerely wanted to live my life in honor of Jesus but in my ignorance I tried to do it in my own strength. I had the misconception that it was all up to me to live right for Him. I also had a void in my life that I did not let Him fill. As far back as I can remember I wanted to be loved and cherished by a man. I thought that would fulfill me. I stumbled and fell several times over the next 12 years, each time a little farther and more depraved. At the time I hated myself, I wanted to give up, I felt worthless and useless and the worst part was I had disgraced my Lord and Savior. After a failed marriage and some very stupid choices, I finally admitted to the Lord that I was too stupid to choose a mate for myself and needed Him to do it for me. He answered that prayer almost immediately by bringing Mr. Paul Maxey into my life. That was 14 years ago. The Lord has shown me that total surrender to Jesus and His will is the only way to have peace and joy in my life. I confess almost daily now that I can do nothing good in and of myself. Jesus has been faithful to me and has brought me through many things. He took a terrible mess I had made, turned it around and gave me the desire of my heart. I do not deserve all He has done for me. I am amazed daily by the mercy and grace He has shown me. Now I live knowing that I am loved and cherished most importantly by Jesus and also by my husband.
Hey my name is Mike Palmer, or “Coach Palmer”. As I think of my life before Christ, I am reminded of the feeling of desperation I felt, desperate for peace, friends, acceptance, and extremely lonely. July 8th, 1981 that desperation left, and I was made full. I’m not sure how to explain it but fear, loneliness, and all the anxiety I had about life left. The Spirit of God totally changed my heart, soul, and mind. I no longer was concerned with “ME” but looked for ways I could help others. It was like my body and mind was taken over by someone else. The best way I can explain it is the way Paul did to the Galatians,
“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20
Adversity is a constant part of life. However, knowing Christ is there to supply all I need, there are no fears. His grace is sufficient!
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalm 37:24
If you haven’t experienced this life changing power, surrender your life to Him today…He knows exactly what you need, after all, He made you.(:
Before having a real relationship with Jesus I had only a knowledge and acceptance of him. I believed he was real but couldn’t tell you why I believed that other than it seemed like everyone else I was around believed it. I knew of sin and knew some of my own but I wasn’t close enough to God to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and be convicted. So, I felt pride that I wasn’t as bad as a lot of other people but the only sins I avoided were the “big” ones my family had raised me to avoid or the ones I thought could cause me earthly consequences. So I wasn’t really trying to please God and also wasn’t benefiting from a close relationship with him. Satan had no problem bringing depression, anxiety, dishonesty, lust, greed, insecurities, gluttony, or anything else destructive into my life. My focus was on achieving the “American Dream.” I wanted only to make enough money to feel secure and get my current wife to marry me. I prayed rarely and read the Bible less. I enjoyed entertainment that glorified sin. Getting to know Jesus for real came from getting to know other humans who already knew him for real. I met a lot of those people at Heritage Baptist Church. They had a joy and peace I knew I had never known. They showed me a love I had never really felt before. They were Jesus to me. Getting to know them made me want to get to know Jesus. So after a bit of a crisis of faith while I made sure I really believed he was real before I set out to really know Him, I began to pursue Him. Growing closer to him while I grew closer to the people of Heritage was awesome. I began to crave the word and pray daily. Getting to know God for real became my passion. It was wonderful. Now that I have a real relationship with Jesus I still fight some of the same battles I fought before, but I no longer fight them alone. I have Jesus and my Heritage family. Together we win more of those battles than I used to alone and we are winning more and more all the time. I have more peace, joy, patience, and self-control. What I have feels so good I can’t keep it to myself. As a Christian Counselor I spend every day working to help others to know what I know and feel what I feel. It isn’t work. It’s a joy and passion. I think I’d be miserable if I couldn’t make my living helping people heal their relationship with God and their relationships with each other. Instead of pursuing the American dream I am now living the Jesus dream.
I got saved when I was 14…I didn’t grow as a Christian at the time because I wasn’t in church but I knew in my heart that I had accepted, trusted, believed in Jesus Christ as my Savior from my sins. I spent several years in sin, grieving the Lord but He was gracious and never left me….a testimony to His patience. He brought me to a relationship with the Godly woman who would be my wife and used her in a mighty way to help me in my growth as a believer. I have since spent lots of time reading the Bible and praying and growing in my relationship with Him. I am by no means perfect and to watch me closely, one would be disappointed by my struggles and often failures, but as He did during my ugliest times of life, Jesus is still working on me. Praise His Name!
I was born as an unwanted child to young parents. Throughout my childhood, I was neglected and abused. I was surrounded by parents who drank, used drugs and had an open marriage. While my parents were going through a divorce, at 14 years old, a friend invited me to church. I gave my life to Jesus and embraced HIS love. Through my Heavenly Father’s strength, the family cycle has been broken. I try to daily surrender my selfishness to the Lord, serve others, share Jesus and live a life thankful for His Grace and Forgiveness.
Glory to God ~
“He must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30