Monday, 16 October 2017

The story of my life 14 – The public shame

-->

When I finished school, I did a three month internship. On my way I always walked in a busy street in the center of Porto. It was a long avenue full of shops and very busy. There were always some street vendors and also less fortunate people asking for alms on the sidewalk. But among them, a woman called my attention. I’d see her every day sitting on the floor with a child. A difficult scene to watch! If it hurts to see an adult asking, imagine with a child, who was visibly sick. It started to bother me, I needed to tell her about Jesus. But how? She was always surrounded by people walking by, and some stopped to give. What would I do to get her attention?



The days went by and I kept seeing that sad scene and telling myself, “I need to do something.” One day I said to myself, “Today is the day I'll talk to her.” And so I did on the way back. The street was  crowded. It was a busy hour! When I passed by where she was, I approached her, and made an invitation for her to go to church to find the solution for her life. And I said, “Your son can be cured.” But do you know what was her reaction? She started yelling at me, saying that she already had her religion and to not talk to her about another church, etc. but screaming... As you can imagine, although I did the right thing, I felt a lot of shame, because people stared at me; and I don’t know what they thought I said to that poor woman. But inside of me I was in peace, I knew that I had done what God wanted.



It is very sad when we see people suffering and we know the solution for their lives; but they refuse to accept it. They prefer to continue in rock bottom than to give up the religiosity and open their mind and heart to the One who can save: the Lord Jesus. However, that did not make me give up evangelizing. Because some do not accept the good news of the gospel, it doesn’t mean that we are going to be silent and stop spreading what’s good. This was not the only time people said “no” to me. Many times people don’t want to hear me, they close the door in my face, they curse, they pretend that they’re not listening, etc. However we must continue to do what the Lord Jesus taught us. Of course, always with education, never wanting to impose our faith on anyone nor disrespecting the belief of others.



“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”” Mark 16:15



May each one contribute and do his/her part. Have you ever been through something similar? Tell us your experience!

In the meantime readhere the previous posts.




Thursday, 28 September 2017

The story of my life 13: "The wonderful and pleasant news"

-->

As I told you in the previous post I had received the Holy Spirit and was fighting to be raised as an assistant. It was not easy to be in the work of God. We had to prove that we really wanted it. It was not a joke or a simple momentary desire, it was something serious and I was aware of it. In February of 1994 I was raised as an assistant. Since I was aware of the great responsibility I received, I had to speak to my father. Although I was 18 at the time, I still lived with my parents and owed them respect and obedience. I had to make my decision known. I prayed before talking to my father. So one day when he was taking me to school, I took advantage of the opportunity of being alone with him, and said, “Father, I'm going to become an assistant.”

Since he did not go to church he did not know what that meant, so I explained to him, “I will help in the meetings and I will have to participate in all the vigils because I have assumed this responsibility and I will not fail.” He promptly replied, “If this is not going to get in the way of your studies, that's fine.” What a relief I felt! God prepared everything!



I really enjoyed counseling and evangelizing. I remember that I used to go to the Hospital of Aids too pray for the sick ones; I used to go to houses to rescue those who had left the church. We also evangelized in the streets, on the bus, knocking doors, and in the asylums. The church also had a strong social work. It distributed clothes and food and we always helped. The pastor always taught us that we had to cry for the souls and our love for them would increase, so I’d do it. On Sunday afternoon I would not go out with Joaquim, I would always evangelize. He would take me to church and say that he was waiting for me in the car. However this never happened. The Holy Spirit always bothered him and he always ended up going to evangelize as well. Some time later, during the week of the Holy Spirit, he was baptized with the Holy Spirit; and in April he was raised as an assistant. I was very happy and grateful to God! We were both in the same faith and serving God.



Our free time was dedicated to the church. We felt complete when helping people. He was a blessed assistant, and soon he received responsibilities in the Work of God. It made me very happy! Although many people of the church knew that we were dating, since when we started coming to the Universal Church we were already dating; we still kept our discretion. We did not hold hands inside of the church, nor did we had long conversations. Our courtship had always been respected. We had never been called attention for acting inappropriately. We were always careful to give a good testimony and to please God with our relationship. Our pleasure in serving was true and I did not imagine myself doing anything else. God had called me!

How about you, do you have the desire to be useful in the work of God?

What do you think of doing for those who suffer?



In the next post I will speak of an embarrassing situation that I lived. Let’s wait!





Monday, 18 September 2017

The story of my life 12: "The delay to receive the Holy Spirit"

-->


The pastor always sought the Holy Spirit in the meetings. Once when we went to evangelize an assistant started talking about this subject. I was interested, however I did not think it was possible. How can something so Holy and Pure dwell within me, full of mistakes and sin? How is it possible to speak in tongues ​​like the pastor? This was something really supernatural and for sure only for very special people. How would it happen to me?

Here was the answer to why even though I had more than a year in the church I was not yet baptized with the Holy Spirit! Simply because I didn’t believe! How can we achieve something we don’t believe in? I can only receive what I believe in. Without faith there is no miracle. I did not need to understand how it would happen, or how God would do it. I just needed to believe and leave my emotion aside. One thing I was sure: I needed a Savior, without Him I would continue lost. This Word is very clear:



“Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” John 3.5



There was no use to be inside of the church and out of the Kingdom God. I was already baptized in the waters, but I wasn’t yet born of the Spirit. When I believed that it was possible for all who believe, then I saw my need. So I decided to seek Him with all my strength. I remember that I fasted and prayed. I wanted to show God that I really wanted Him more than anything else. In the summer of 1993 we went camping. Every vacation we would go somewhere with my parents, but this year was different. I would not turn away from my purpose. I remember that I’d wake up every day at 6am, go to the beach, though it was still empty, and I’d seek the Holy Spirit alone. The pastor held a meeting every Sunday at 6pm for the assistants and the candidates, so I used to attended it.



In September, in one of these meetings my answer arrived. Something supernatural happened and I received the Holy Spirit! An immeasurable peace, joy, and an extraordinary force invaded my being. From that day on I was sure that God was with me. I was not alone! How wonderful! The assurance was the biggest sign! I was so happy that I felt so powerful lol.

With the Holy Spirit in my life, all the complexes of inferiority ended, all the negative feelings about myself disappeared. I never had “problems” with my body again. I no longer felt inferior than other people. My interior was transformed. The desire to serve God was born. That young girl who did not want to be an assistant before, now wanted to be used in His work. Of course I couldn’t imagine being a pastor's wife. I only wanted to serve as an assistant and help people. In addition to attending the meetings on Sunday morning, I continued to attend the meetings on Sunday at 6pm. I wanted more! In the next post I'll tell you when I was raised as an assistant.



Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit yet? What are you doing about it?





Thursday, 14 September 2017

The story of my life 11: "I did not want to be an assistant"




I always went to church with my mother, my sister and my boyfriend. We had been going for almost a year now, but I always said that I did not want to be an assistant. I went to school, so I thought that if I became a helper I’d need a lot of time and could not fulfill my studies. I didn’t participate in any group of the church, the youth group, not even the evangelization group. However,  some time after, I started to desire to get more involved with the things of God. I really enjoyed being in the church.

So in the summer vacation of 1992 I joined the evangelism group. We would go in the streets to talk about Jesus. I’d paid attention to what the assistants said so I could learn. We went to talk about Jesus to the prostitutes, we also said the good news to the beggars, and everyone we saw on the streets.
Once the pastor asked me, “My daughter are you firm like the walls of Jericho?” I had never heard of walls of Jericho. What would that be? But I thought, if they are walls they must be strong lol so I answered “yes sir.” The pastor laughed and left. Then when I read about the walls of Jericho that God made fall down for His people to come and conquer the promised land, I felt so ashamed of the answer I gave, but there was nothing more to be done. Now it's a joke. Even writing about it I still laugh; but not at that time.

It is sad when we do not know the Word! I keep thinking of the thousands of people who are deceived by not having the knowledge of the Truth! That’s why the importance of announcing the gospel as much as we can.
Everything was going well, however I lacked something very important and indispensable! I will speak about it in the next post.

Have you ever made a mistake by not knowing the Word of God?
Have you ever been ashamed of it? Share it with us!


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The story of my life 10: When I was baptized in the waters




At that time, baptizing people in the waters was not so common in our churches like it is now. Since the church didn’t have a baptistery, that made it a little difficult because it was necessary to rent a club that had a swimming pool in it, and so baptize the people. I was baptized in the waters in April of 1992, in the pool of the Fluvial Portuense Club. It was an indoor swimming pool. It took me a while to make the decision, but it was a conscious step. Baptism brings responsibilities! It means repentance of sins, death of the old life, and birth for a new life with Jesus!

Then one should not get baptize in the waters because s/he sees others doing it, to be healed, or because s/he wishes to be part of a certain denomination. But because s/he is determined to abandon sin and live according to the Word of God. The wrong attitudes and feelings stay in those waters; then s/he rises from the waters determined not to live in sin anymore. This is also part of our conversion. Whoever converts us to God it’s ourselves. It means that we convert to God but God doesn’t converts us. It's a personal decision!

Too bad I don’t have pictures of that day, but it was very special! A lot of people got baptized. I saw that everyone was happy and they smiled when they left the waters. That day I showed God that I truly wanted to follow Him, that it was not a joke.

In 2011 when I went to Israel with the Godllywood group from Miami-USA, I had the opportunity to get baptized in the Jordan River. The waters were freezing because it was winter, but I could not miss this chance. It was more than special!

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16

Have you already made the decision to start a new life with Jesus?


Here are some pictures of my baptism in Israel:




Thursday, 7 September 2017

The story of my life 9: "A mistake I made"



I was a very emotional young woman and it really messed up my spiritual life. I cried for nothing. I was indeed very sentimental! If I were to idealize something and it did not happen exactly as I had imagined, that was already a source of sadness. I think I made high expectations about certain people and situations and when it did not come out as I expected it was like a bucket of cold water on me. And the only way I knew how to deal with it was by being emotional. I always cried because of my dilemmas. Sometimes I got angry at myself.

I did not like being this way. I wanted to be stronger, more secure and determined but I did not know how. Going to church was always very helpful. The teachings, the strong prayers and being able to talk to God expressing everything that was happening inside of me was something liberating. However I did not know how to speak to God as I should. I did not know how to use my faith! In my prayers I tried to make God sensitive; I wanted Him to feel sorry for me and then answer me. Since I was very emotional, I wanted to use emotions before God.

I thought that if I cried during my prayers, God as a loving father, would be sensitive to my suffering. How wrong I was! God needed to see my faith and not my tears, but I did not know that. As long as I used emotion I could not be sure of the answer. I made this mistake until I learned that God is faith and we approach Him through faith. Even though He is a loving and merciful Father, we need to manifest our belief through our faith. When I started doing that, things worked out so much better.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Have you ever made this mistake? Share your experience with us. In the next post I will write about a very important decision I made at the time. I’ll be waiting for all of you!


Monday, 4 September 2017

The story of my life 8: "When I told about Jesus to my boyfriend"


 
We had been going to the church for about three months when I invited Joaquim to join us. I felt so good there and I wanted him to experience the same thing that I was experiencing. At the time the pastor had explained about fasting; something new for me. He said that fasting was like a cry out, a stronger prayer, that we should do for specific cases, more difficult situations or just to consecrate ourselves more. So I decided to fast for fifteen days, from midnight to noon, in Joaquim's favor. I wanted him to go to church and to stay. This was the first fasting I did since I started going to the Universal Church. The great day that I invited him, to my surprise he accepted the invitation. We all went together to church: my mother, sister, Joaquim and I. I was so happy that God answered me! From that day on he never stopped going!

At first he did not understand much. I remember that every time I wrote him a letter (remember that in 1991 we did not have e-mail or WhatsApp. We communicated through letters, written by our own hand lol); and I always wrote a Bible verse and tried to explain it. My intention was to help him so that he could understand that everything that was done in the church was in accordance with the Word of God. I know that the Holy Spirit did the work in him. I never forced him to go to church or put him in this condition, even though at the time I was new in the faith too and didn’t know many things. I only had the sincere desire that he tried the same as I was living. I sought God and He honored my faith. But of course, Joaquim also had to accept, because God does not force anyone to seek Him; each person makes his own choice.

I would like to speak about this subject. Sometimes young people who wanted to date young unbelievers justified themselves through my example. They said, “If you can, I can do it, too.” However one thing is for you to arrive in church having a boyfriend already, like it was my case. When I arrived at the Universal Church in 1991, I was already dating Joaquim for one year. And another thing is for you to be in the presence of God, to have knowledge of the Word and to decide to have a boyfriend of the world; to become involved with a person who does not have your faith and put at risk your own salvation. I am not saying that it’s impossible for that person to convert, but until you see it you have to wait. It’s not okay to accept to date someone first, and then see if s/he wants to accept the Lord Jesus or not. It shows that you are putting your love life above your life with God.

That's the big difference! At that time I did not even have this knowledge that I should date a person of the same faith. I was new in church. We did not have blogs or books to teach us. We were learning everything slowly as the pastor was teaching us. Even though I did not have this knowledge, I wanted Joaquim to be with God. Even without the interest of dating someone of the same faith, I repeat, I did not know, I wanted us to be together with God and to know the Truth. Like me, he also lived spiritually blind, a slave of a religion.

So my beautiful girls, be careful not to confuse that! We do not have the ability to change anyone. It’s the Holy Spirit that does it!  Maybe at first, Joaquim accepted my invitation to please me, but he stayed, he converted and I can prove it. I will tell you more about this in the following posts. I've seen many church girls get involved with boys of the world and suffer. They acted out of passion. They did not know how to wait in God. They did not have the vision to see them converted first. So they still suffer to have married a person who does not accept their faith, mistreats them, deceives them, and so on! I ask myself, why create a problem if you can choose someone of the same faith, right? In the next post I will say a big mistake I did, but I was not aware of it. Maybe you have done it too!

Have you ever had a bad experience by getting involved with someone who does not practice your faith? Even within the church it can happen, because not all who are in the church are converted and given to God. See that God makes us aware of everything:

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” 1 John 4:1

This means that we must always see if the testimony given is true and whether the person acts by the flesh or by the Spirit. Unfortunately, not everyone who claims to be of God is really of God. But for this you have to be spiritual, because if you are of the flesh how can you detect who is spirit or flesh? Now you know it!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...