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Old 01-15-2011, 07:51 AM
 
1,837 posts, read 1,585,499 times
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I just thought I'd share my personal testimony and would like others to do the same. This is what happened to me - my personal experience, and as you should be able to see after reading this, I had no idea how to pray, but prayer played a huge role in drawing close to God.

What's your testimony?

Born of Spirit

I have a story I need to tell
It's very clear and I know it well
It's about a place not so far away
Another deminsion you might say

It's a secret place beyond this earth
In order to get there you must experience new birth
It's a place where eyes open and ears begin to hear
The voice of the Living God as he drives out fear

To see his face and to experience his glory
Words cannot say nor told in a story
Some may say that he has hid from us all
But the blood that he shed has torn down every wall

Shawn M. LeBlanc

Chapter One: God Called

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me."
Matthew 16:23-25


It was August of 1995 when God called me to a new life in his son Yahushua Christ, and invited me into his eternal Kingdom of Heaven. I had been in Louisiana, the place of my birth, living in sin, selling cerain party drugs such as XTC, and almost worshipping the danceclub scene in New Orleans. After a few years of this God put it in my heart to leave this enviroment and move to Phoenix Arizona where I would work with some relatives installing plumbing in new apartments. My grandmother had died just before my move and I kept one of her Bibles in remembrance of her. It was the words of christ in that book that would eventually set me free. After being there for about two months I moved my girlfriend over from Louisiana and we rented an apartment in the same complex as my cousin in Phoenix. Then one day God came into one of our conversations, and I decided to open up the Word of God. At this same time I noticed a very small cross that I had burnt on my arm with a pen when I was around the age of ten. I had even forgot that it was there for at least ten years, but it was still barely visible. The first words I opened up to after this were the words of Christ saying, "take up your cross and follow me." At that very moment I was baptized into God's Holy Spirit and my new life began.

It happened in an instant. It was litterally the beginning of an entirely different person. I had been reborn. It was as if my eyes had just opened and the Holy Love that I felt inside of me brought me to my knees instantly in repentance. There are no words that can describe what it's like when the Almighty God reveals himself. I can, however, say that it was an intense love as well as a deep remorse for the person I had been. I wasn't an awefully bad person in the eyes of this world, but God's love is so Holy and He is so powerfully big that it really blows a persons mind when he reveals himself. It's definitely his love and holiness that tells a person, "You can trust me." God is beyond all doubt, absolutely perfect! From that moment on I had a hunger to know him more and as I read his words I had no doubt whatsoever that it was the Word of God. I fell in love with the teachings of Christ, the Psalms, and the book of Proverbs. The scripture in Proverbs chapter two, where God says to cry out to him for insight and understanding, was one of the most life impacting scriptures to me. I knew for sure that when I went into my room, shut the door behind me, dropped to my knees, and lifted up my hands crying out to God, He was personally right there before me. He was not only listening to every word but it was also his Spririt speaking through me, therefore I knew he was surely going to answer my prayer.

Repenting of sin came naturally. I didn't wan't to sin. I wanted to know him more. I was experiencing the greatest feelings I had ever felt in my life, and God's spirit was living in me. All I wanted to do was love everybody. During the first two years or so I was in what I would call the prime of my first love stage. There were a few areas I needed work in but for the most part I enjoyed an intimate relationship with God and I was no longer a slave to sin. I started attending Phoenix First Assembly of God church and met a few good friends and when I realized my girlfriend wasn't ready to give her life to Christ I knew it wasn't going to work out so she went back to Louisiana. This turned out to be a good decision and the will of God. The more I cried out to God, the more he revealed himself. My faith was drastically increased and when I looked out into the sky it was like he opened the heavens to me and my eyes were wide open to his majesty and greatness. I couldn't help but marvel at his greatness. I couldn't get over the fact that I was having this very intimate relationship with the Almighty God who created the eternal heavens, the earth, and all of us. Not only that but he just so happens to be a 100% perfectly loving God, and he called me his child. WOW!!! when a person experiences this there is no room for any fear whatsoever! I should also mention that I had been water baptized when I was younger at my other grandmothers church and because it was very meaningfull for me at the time and I knew full well what I was doing, it was very special to me so I thought it's God's will to be water baptized once by being fully submersed in water, as long as the person is old enough to understand what it means and wants to repent of sin and give thier life to Christ. Being water baptized is a commandment of Christ, so therefore it is critical unless there is no time to do it before you die, then God's grace will allow you to be saved.

After about seven months there came a few times of testing. My prayer life decreased every now and then and comfort would set in. God would allow me to be tested to see how I would respond. Meaning, when the annointing of the Holy Spirit is so overwhelming, it's easy, but God expects us to grow and during those times of testing we are supposed to press in and pray even more. That is how we grow. You can either grow, or get comfortable and give in to temptation and sin - which leads to an even greater distance between you and God. Well, because I hadn't yet understood the importance of obedience to God, and what sin causes, I would trip up a little. I never gave up though. A little while later I moved back to Louisiana where I would attend a church called Bethany World Prayer Center in my hometown of Baton Rouge. These were some of the best days of my life. It was there that I developed very close relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ. God used me to save one of my old friends as well, and it was such a blessing to see God drastically change his life. Fellowship with God and my brothers and sisters in Christ was the best time of my life. We were allways together meeting at each others homes and no doubt it was all about God. His light was shining on us and there was no problem repenting of sin. I had a great job making great pay, a very nice truck, and rented a room from a Christian brother of mine. Then everyday after work I would come home to find ten to fifteen of the neighborhood children waiting for me to teach them the Word of God. Of course they also enjoyed King Solomon, my Rottweiller puppy. He was the open door that God used to give me the opportunity to share Christ with them. That was by far the most special time of my life. Because of this the childrens parents decided to start a neighborhood Bible study, gave their lives to Christ, and a few of them started going to Bethany. Those were the days. My love and fellowship with God and mankind was at an all-time high. That's also when I began to write down a witness for Christ and started a street evangelism ministry. I was consumed with sharing God's love with people, spending time with my brothers and sisters, and there's no way I could've been any happier. I had no trouble being Holy and almost every thought, was God's thought...

I did copy and paste this from my website and here is the link. I am under the understanding that we should post the link if it's copied. There's more to it but I only posted what would be beneficial to someone who wants to give thier life to Christ. It's easy.

http://www.myspace.com/yumpac/blog/537194012

Last edited by O-Ducky; 01-15-2011 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:09 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 9,747,770 times
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That's an awesome testimony O-Ducky, thanks for sharing. I have an awesome testimony also, but not one that I am willing to share (except for bits and pieces, which I have done) on city-data. There are several reasons why but it's just not the right place for a testimony like mine....and things get used against you, as I have found out in the past.

So, your testimony is very sufficient and will touch many, I'm sure. God bless you.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:16 AM
 
1,837 posts, read 1,585,499 times
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Thank you sister Ilene! I understand also. Hey, you seem to be someone who is very good at controlling the tongue. Not sure why, but it's just a quality that you seem to have, as well as insight and understanding. God bless you sister.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 9,747,770 times
Reputation: 58197
LOL!! Thanks for that, I wish that were true!! I'm sure there are many here who would disagree with you about me controlling my tongue. I'm still working on that one. But I do have lots of insight and understanding and by the way I read your whole testimony from your link and it was awesome! God bless you in your journey Shawn, you have great potential and I'm sure that the Lord is not done with you yet!!
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:39 AM
 
1,837 posts, read 1,585,499 times
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HAHAHAHAHAAA... and your funny too!!! Very modest.

Thanks for the encouragement sister.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:14 PM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 9,747,770 times
Reputation: 58197
I just posted this in the "non-debate friendship" thread and then it struck me that I should have posted it here also. I wish more people would jump on board with their testimonies.....we could all use a little lifting up and encouragement imo.

I just wanted to share what's on my mind, and that always seems to be music. I'll wake up with a song in my head and until I actually hear it, I can't get it out. I love music, it has really seen me through the worst of times and the best of times. But then again, so have my animals. But I digress, I was talking about music.

Years ago before I really gave my life to the Lord ( I was just a teenager) I would (here comes some of that dreaded testimony) sit in front of the stereo on the floor indian style and blast myself and the neighbors in the apartments with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, or Peter Frampton (love that guy). I was only about 14 and I would crank the stereo, get into my mother's liquor and mix up a whiskey sour and go sit out on the curb hoping someone would talk to me.

One day someone did, it was a kid who lived in the apartments and he came racing by me on a skateboard and said whatcha doin? I was so horribly shy but the liquor really helped me that day to be able to talk to him. And so came the alcoholism that I still struggle with. But that's another whole story. So, his name was Jimmy, he had an older brother named Steve and they lived in the neighboring apartments with their father Sid. We all became great friends and I would go over to their apartment at night, totally ignoring my mother, and hang out and eat boiled peanuts.

It was the best of times, they were great to me but one night my mother showed up in her nightgown knocking at the door, drunk, crying and wanting to know when I was coming home. Sid tenderly brought her in and talked with her, assuring her that I was safe and everything was fine. These were different times folks, it was the 70's and things were much different and it was just me and my Mom. From that moment on we all were great friends and hung out all of the time together.

Sid, Jimmy and Steve moved to a house out in the sticks but we still hung out and had a grand time. Sid had a thing for my Mom, but it wasn't like that, they were always just friends. There was a pretty big age difference between them. We were all struggling with stuff, finances, alcohol abuse and drugs. But we loved each other. I remember the first time I saw "Rocky Horror Picture Show".....it was a blast!! Jimmy took me and we threw toast and toilet paper and just had the most fun....it was like nothing I had ever experienced!! The place was a mess but everyone was so on board with what was being said and done, it really was an experience. We continued on with our lifestyles, miserable in a lot of ways but connected and together in spite of all of it.

This is where is really gets weird and sad. I was going to move back to NC for the gazzillionth time, to live with my father, not out of choice but because my mother couldn't control me and had no idea what to do with me. But before that happened, Jimmy came home one day and wanted to talk to me, he had something really awesome to tell me and wanted to share it with me. He had been to church with someone and had gotten saved!! I was floored and we sat on his bed and talked forever about it.....he had never even known about Christ before then and that really shocked me because I had been brought up, both sides of the family, with a holy-rolling belief and we attended an Assembly of God church. Now mind you, I was still only 14 and very confused and my parental units were very dysfunctional at the time. I thought EVERYONE knew about God, for heaven's sake. We just chose to live like the devil and go to church on Wednesday and Sundays like everybody else.

Jimmy was SO on fire and so excited and his question to me was......well if you knew about this, why didn't you tell me?? I'll never forget that and how guilty I felt. I learned at the tender age of 14 (mind you it took me 30 more years to get with the program) how all fire important it is to SHARE your faith and talk about the Lord. I never knew this until then. I'll never forget the bewilderment on Jimmy's face because I had this knowledge and I never shared it. Well, duh, gimme a break, I was only 14!!! And had a drinking and drug problem to boot! But that stuck with me, and I'm here now to tell people what an awesome God we have and how He can change your life!!

I still have my struggles, you all who know me well know exactly what I struggle with and why. I won't go into that but what started me on this journey down memory lane is the wonderful, magical music that I have enjoyed for SOOOO long, it has really gotten me through so much. God speaks to us through music and I just wanted to say how fortunate we are to all be here and be able to share with each other every day. We have formed bonds and friendships and I feel like I know some of you as if you were sitting right next to me.

Thank you dear Lord for City-Data and the people here, and thank you for showing me who you really are and loving me in spite of myself. I fail each day, I get back up, and I fall down again. But you're always there, always picking me up and always have been I just didn't know it. Forgive me for not sharing you with those closest to me, I've tried to do better and city-data is a way for me to do that. I thank you for my life and how you have brought me through to this very day where I can share some of my story with my non-judgmental friends. I have so much to share but it's very rare that I do, so take this for what it's worth and use it to your glory dear Lord. Amen.
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