Transformation Testimonies

This is our place to record and celebrate the way God is transforming us … and others to the glory of God!  If you have a story to share about what God is up to in your life or how He is pushing you out into ministry to others in cool ways, please send me your testimony at mspansel@leroychapel.org or post your own comment below.

ENJOY THE READ … and REJOICE at what our great God is up to!

Ready to Rejoice,

Pastor Mark

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7 thoughts on “Transformation Testimonies

  1. “Circle of Friendships”

    A member in the church told me about how she was impacted by the comment made a month ago that your circle of friends isn’t complete until it includes unbelieving people. She decided she’d invite a single-mom, Muslim co-worker and her children over to their house for a multi-cultural dinner. She made a meal, and her guest brought over some foods she’d prepared. They shared food and friendship. They had a fantastic time, the children of this woman were so blessed and enjoyed being with this couple, and the friendship was infused with love, the love of God to a family needing the love of Christ expressed to them in tangible ways. Way to go!

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  2. Isnt God just crazy like that?! praise Jesus that this woman was able to show God’s love to someone! I’ve really had crazy experences with the spiritual warfare! Its so real, and dangerous, but the best part is that Jesus saves!!!! I had been doing some very satanic things, and the devil had me, but Jesus saved me!!! Its was a long and hard battle, but im free now!!!! Im free to run, free to dance, free to sing, because i belong to Jesus and I AM FREE!!!!

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  3. “It’s bigger than that!”

    On Sunday February 15th, 2009, Pastor Mark asked us to pray and ask God to reveal to us any areas where there was a yoke of slavery. I went to the Lord in prayer, and told him that I knew the computer was a problem for me. After all, it has been a problem for many, many years and the Lord had convicted me often in regards to the amount of time I spent online. As I sat there, I heard the Lord say, “it’s bigger than that, Kim.” He showed me other areas where I was knowingly doing things that didn’t line up with His will for me. As those things played as a movie in my mind, I heard the word, “Rebellion”. Yes, Lord. I saw clearly that I was rebelling against Him, and my heart was seared with sadness.

    As I sat there and pondered that revelation, I thought about all the times I had tried to give up the internet and was unsuccessful. I always attributed it to the flesh being weak. On the morning of February 15th however, I saw that satan had deceived me into thinking that it was the internet that was something I couldn’t overcome… when in reality, it was the state of my heart. How crafty of him, for it also created doubt in my heart of God wanting to help me in this area.

    Once I admitted it was rebellion, it was like that yoke of slavery fell off. Freedom. Deliverance. Pure joy and restoration with my Creator.

    The Lord showed me a passage several years ago in relation to when I was first leading First Place. I shared it on Sunday evening at the Praise & Worship service. I pray that it will always remain close to the forefront of my mind.

    Hebrews 3:12-15 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said:
    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”

    Thank you, Jesus, for allowing my ears to hear your voice. I pray that I will not harden my heart to you again. Thank you for forgiving my rebellion towards you. I pray that in sharing my heart you would be glorified, and perhaps others would ask you to reveal any yokes of slavery in their lives as well.

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  4. I was so blessed by your message last week on being a ‘people pleaser’. I was so tightly ensnarled by that stronghold for many, many years that it was literally choking the life out of me. I knew people didn’t like me – good grief, I even had a minister tell me to go around and ask the ladies of the church why they didn’t like me so that I could correct my personality flaws. I couldn’t face the rejection I was experiencing from ‘Christians’ so I tried harder and harder to be accepted. I was told to get over it, that an old-time Christian like me should know that the only acceptance I needed was Christ and stop trying to make the people of the church like me. Yes, I knew that but the stronghold of needing to be a people pleaser was so tightly woven into my life that my head knowledge and my emotions could not work together. It took a sister in Christ less than 5 minutes to hit my problem right on the head, a bulls-eye. She listened, let me talk for a change about how I felt, how angry these self-proclaimed psychologists made me – there were issues from my childhood I had to face, nothing like abuse, so it may seem trivial to some, but issues that had led to my need for acceptance. She had picked up on childhood scars I had years before in just one brief conversation in a Navs group. That was what I needed – not to be told I wasn’t liked and it was my fault, but to let the Lord reveal to me why I so desperately felt the need to be accepted, to be a people-pleaser. The need to be part of everything at church so that I would be liked was gone; the need to be ‘liked and accepted’ by the people at church was gone. I was valuable, valuable enough for Christ to suffer and die for. If people didn’t like me – maybe they were the ones with the problem, not me. I can’t describe the freedom that has come in realizing and accepting that all I need is Christ’s acceptance – AND I ALREADY HAD THAT!!! Do I still struggle? Well, of course, Satan is a prowling lion waiting to pounce on every insecurity. But my hope is in the Lord, not in friends. Oh, I crave Christian fellowship, and love my new-found sisters in Christ, but …My faith has found a resting place…it is ENOUGH that Jesus died, and that He died for me.

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  5. I sure have been thinking a lot about being free and asking the question to myself how can I be free when I feel bound by the yoke of the resrictions others have placed on my life through family members actions. It can be down right angering and despairing!!! Restrictions that will effect my life for atleast another twenty years…where I can live…who lives in my house ect.. I realize many can not understand but none the less it is real. As I pondered many things this morning during my quiet time the Lord showed me that my anger towards this situation was anger towards a sovereign God who allowed this and this challenged me to think deeper….do I fully trust my Savior?? Do I have a quiet and gentle spirit regarding this, and sadly the answer was no, big surprise! Then as I sat there and confessed my sin of rebellion, disrespect not only towards God but also towards my husband for being the catalyst of the situation, God showed me something awesome: I was born a slave…a slave to my flesh/sin. But praise be to God who through Christ Jesus has released us through His blood. ( Rev 1:5) I am free, Praise Him, “Act as free men,and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond-slaves of God” 1 Peter 2:16. I have a choice everyday to either be a slave to my flesh and sin or to be a bond-slave to my Savior…”For my yoke is easy and My load is light” Matt 11:30. The bottom line is I will be a slave it is just to who or what! Now I have some confessing today to do towards my husband and am in need of lots of grace to walk in His light everyday..”and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32 Thank you Jesus.

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  6. Transformation analogy. I’ve been thinking of transformation and this is adapted from something I wrote awhile ago and seems fitting for today.

    Today is the first day of spring yet the lake is still frozen and the trees bare no leaves. By simple faith I know the water will again sparkle
    and the scenery will turn green. In a short 3 months the transformation of the weather, the sounds, the views will all be entirely different. I
    thought what about me? Can I believe that my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformation will be filled with the same fullness of life? I know it can. I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.

    The temperature rises and falls and my progress will be the same. Some days it’s sunny and warm and some days will be rainy and cold
    and some days will still have snow and freezing, such is life. Summer is still coming. I must persist.
    Similarly, some days I may feel blessed and be a blessing, some days I may be cold and uncaring, such is the human that I am. God still is too be glorified and His Love to shine through.

    The leaves and flowers do not appear in an
    instant and neither will any change I make. If I steadily transform by prayer and reading God’s word, and daily make the small adjustments, like the daily minutes added to make longer days of sunlight, I to will shine and be a lighthouse of hope in God’s kingdom. I will be able to take in all the life that God gives and enjoy the freedom in all the activities that summer brings without compromise and without apologizing.

    I’m looking forward to summer and today I Spring forward to continue the course and keep the faith with new hope, and boldness to be the best me that God created me to be.

    This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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  7. I believe that since transformation is an ongoing process, just as sanctification is a gradual work of the Holy Spirit in my life, that I can claim some significant gain in my freedom from autonomy.

    I have long considered myself to be a control-freak extremist. As a young child, I believe I was conditioned this way to deal with my health problems and my usually volatile homelife. If I could avoid conflict, I would engage in all sorts of pre-emptive striking ,thus putting myself in control of my immediate destiny. I avoided alot of conflict and many asthma attacks by resolving them away.

    As a younger mom with a lot of children, my autonomous sin nature kicked in to overdrive. I was a benevolent tyrant who loved her kids and husband and tried really hard to raise perfect children whose father was “honored in the gates.” I really wanted to be the ultimate Proverbs 31 woman. At the time, I truly believed that I was serving God and trying desperarely to measure up to His standards, while attempting to raise Christian super-achievers. Now, I realize that I was trying to be found worthy in God’s eyes of His redemption of me because of the magnitude of sinfulness in my youth.

    During this time, I also became more active in the church and some of my more technical gifts were being recognized. I had always worked in hospitality, education ,and community missions but had not utilized my gift and love of writing and public speaking. I have to add at this point, that I found this to be extremely gratifying, since my viewpoint at that time was that women’s gifts weren’t typically utilized in the Church universal.

    Over time I began writing weekly bulletin inserts, was interviewed on the radio regarding my areas of “expertise”, taught at the State Homeschooling Convention, and had my picture with my 9 children on the cover of the… well, a Christian Magazine with the caption,” Raising a Victorious Army for Jesus Christ.” Wow, and I was working on a political campaign, which I had always wanted to do, and organizing conferences. I was sure that I had arrived! My children were doing quite well; one daughter had an article published at 17, one was the model of Christian courtship, another wrote a play and performed it, and my 13 year old son was the youngest Cadet at the Sheriff’s Department.
    I was happy, yea prideful, to be the go- to girl for the pastor at the church we were attending. He gave me alot of opportunities to use my “skills” and I could still be a stay -at -home, homeschooling mom, caring for my mom and Paul’s grandpa alternately over this time span.
    My love of God’s Word was also growing at an extraordinary pace and I was reading commentaries and devouring books in my spare time ie the middle of the night. ( which I still do!)

    A fateful night, 10 years ago: We hosted a Home group that met weekly and we became very close to the people in it . We were supposed to bring these people up to speed on the Faith. Ouch! Leadership.
    Well, one night while my dear husband was in remote Canada, unreachable, by cell phone, and his heart doth so greatly trust in his wife that he doesn’t call home for a week, a lady from our home group shows up on my front porch at midnight and quite intoxicated and wants to talk. I have training in counseling, experience in dealing with drunks, and my kids are in bed, so I invite her in so I can minister to her. What she tells me that night forever changes my life. She is having an affair and I quickly figure out that the main shepherd at our church is a wolf. I tell her to repent, that this is sin, and that she need to restore her marriage since there was no evidence of unfaithfulness or abuse on the part of her husband. I promise to tell no one of our visit because I believe I have resolved the conflict and saved her, the church , and the world. By 7 am my phone is ringing with pastor screaming at me about getting women in the church drunk and gossiping while my husband is away. The other pastors are informed of my behavior and I am rebuked harshly because ” there is no condemnation in Christ” and my advice to her was totally flawed. I am told that she made the whole story up, but I am convinced it is true. For the next 3 years this woman tells me the plans of the wolf and as unbelievable and demonic as they are , it is true and he is mostly successful. The rest of the story is as long as it is ugly. It was ecclesiastical abuse in the most grotesque form.
    I was broken and my family suffered with me. Many of our distinctives were destroyed and I still struggle to reclaim ground from the most violent spiritual warfare I could have imagined. The hardest part was what I learned about myself. I was too dogmatic in my thinking. I was prideful and not willing to respect others whether they were more conservative or more liberal then myself and I know my words and actions and lack of Christian love and tolerance towards my brothers and sisters defamed the name of Christ.
    Chist loving chastised me and as I learned to trust Him to work through all the ugliness, all of the false accusations, all of the separation from my brothers and sisters He has been faithful to reveal and bring justice, restoration,and closure.

    It’s funny when I tell people who did not know me before , that I had a huge pride problem that grew out of my struggle with autonomy. They basically view me as the lady with all of the children and patience and a servant’s heart who loves working with children and is still slightly dogmatic. Yes, by a miracle of God’s grace I came through the fire with those good attributes intact,. Thankfully, I have pretty much shed the control freak issues because God has shown me concretely that He is in control. I also find that I am still willing to stand up for God’s truth and for His children. I know that He will work all things for His own glory in time and history.

    Sheryl Ferroni

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