Testimony tuesday

[Olivia Medlin]

Home. It’s one of the most comforting words to me. The definition of home according to the English dictionary is – the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

I used to think home was a place. One where I would lay my head at night, a place where I felt safe to be me. Then later in my life home became people, my family. The people who loved and cared for me. But once I met Jesus, home became a person. I found in Him a forever home where I am being redeemed, rescued, forgiven, chosen, loved, sealed, saved, free, known, adopted, justified, accepted, and alive. Making my home in Jesus made me member of a forever family, the kingdom of God! When I look at my life, I see how he is changing the word home for me and what a beautiful home He is.

As a little girl I heard Jesus many times. My parents told me all about the God who created me and knit me together. My church was always doing Bible school camps and musicals and classes. I remember singing about Jesus. Learning about Him! Thanking Him before our meals. He was a pretty big deal in my home as a child.

My parents loved Jesus and taught me that I should do the same. For a time in my life, I knew that knowing Jesus was what everyone around me wanted me to do. So I accepted Him at vacation bible school when I was seven years old. I believe with all of my heart He saved me that day. All I knew at that point in my faith was Jesus was the son of God. I believed He lived a perfect life and died for my sins on a bloody cross. I believed He rose from the dead and is with God in heaven! That was the extent of my faith as a child. I believed. It wasn’t until high school that I was CHANGED, MOVED, and transformed by Gods redeeming love for me.

This little girl, grew in to a typical teenager. I was very wrapped up in Olivia’s world. I didn’t think much about Jesus or the significance of what He did for me. I just claimed to be a Christian and went through the motions of everyday life.

One summer, at church camp, I was brought to my knees. I saw the clearest picture of what Jesus really did for me that night. I was humbled and broken by the way I had been living my life with little thought of Him.

It was that summer my life flipped inside out. Jesus was not just a planet orbiting around me anymore. He was the sun. We were in the center of the universe together and everything in my life started to orbit around HIM. I knew my life was forever changed. I decided to own my faith. To dig deep into the Word that helped me understand more about my Father and my forever home in Him. I’m still seeking and finding out new things about Him every single day of this life. I will never be able to scratch the surface of His love for me, His power, His beauty.

I still struggle not to get wrapped up in Olivia’s world everyday. I am learning that when you make your home in Christ you have to choose everyday to live there. I relate so much to the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.

There are times when I’m tempted to run away from home. There are times when I stay gone too long. But I know that my home is built on the cornerstone of Christ. It will never be moved. It will always be a place that Jesus welcomes me with open arms. I am learning that my battle against the flesh and my sin is a DAILY fight. I have to surrender myself to Jesus everyday. Many of those days are hard and I struggle to choose Jesus in many of those trials.

Right now in my life, He is teaching me many things. He is teaching me to prioritize Him above every other aspect of my life. He is teaching me that my messy house doesn’t need to be cleaned until I spend time in His word. He is teaching me the importance of being on my knees praying for my husband and my children. He is teaching me that life is short and it is vital to be urgently sharing Jesus with others. He is teaching me that this world is not my home. He is teaching me to stop relying so much on myself and to be solely dependent on Him!

He is still working on me and will be until the day I get to my forever HOME.

Psalm 91 is one of the most comforting passages of scripture to me! It says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Where is your home found right now? Who is your refuge? I beg you to make it Jesus. In Him there is true rest and perfect peace.

Testimony tuesday

<Jordan Rogers>

I grew up playing the “church game.” You know what I mean? Wearing the “Christian” title on Sunday’s so that everyone thought I was “good.” I was a “Christian” in church on Sundays but outside of church every other day of the week, my lifestyle was far from Christ. I had a picture of Jesus in my head of a suit-wearing, boring, dull, clean and neat guy who always smiled and gave you handshakes on Sunday mornings. That image mixed with a deep desire to be different drove to chase everything but that of “Jesus.” So I did. I chased the things I thought made me “stand out,” what made me “cool.” Drinking, smoking, partying, money. During those teenage years I chased all the world had to offer up until twenty-two years old. Temporarily, the effects of those things sold me, I thought “man this is living!” But at the end of each day, nothing could fill the empty void I had left inside of me. 

22 years old, I had no purpose and no idea what I was doing with my life. Then things began to take a drastic turn. God began placing different associations around me, men who mentored me in life and faith. It was then, I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way I had never heard before. It was then I saw the REAL picture of Jesus, which was far different than the picture I had seen all those years earlier in the church scene. Jesus opened my eyes to show me He was greater, more different than any idea or self made image I could ever come up with. And despite all the wrong and bad I had done while searching for life in the ways of this world, He was still there, with arms wide-open loving me anyways!!! Through the tears and joy of coming to know Jesus, thankfully, His love hasn’t stopped there! He has continued to turn my world upside down in the best way possible ever since that first moment of being with Him! If you would have told me then that I would be sending out daily messages to people about Jesus, I would have asked what you were smoking and probably asked to join you! But this is what Jesus does, after coming to know Him and experiencing Him in this way in my life, I just want to share His life-changing love with everyone possible so that you too can experience Jesus in your life! This is the purpose Jesus set in my life, to share God’s Gold with you because after trying all the world had to offer, I’ve found nothing that comes close to comparing with with God and the Gold found in His Word! So I pray in some way that this page along with all the other platforms we share God’s Gold through, I pray it can be an encouragement for you like it has been me! 

And one last thing, this story is not about me, it’s about the one who saved me and began writing a new story! Just know, Jesus can do the same with you no matter what your story has been!

Miner’s Approach

God Gold of the Day

Below I’ve placed an unusually large amount of Scripture for today’s meditation. Just hold onto your horses, there’s a reason. Over the past weekend I was blessed to be apart of a student weekend for my buddy Zach’s youth group. The weekend was called “Prodigal,” with the main focus being on this story/parable of the prodigal son that Jesus tells here in Luke 15.

I’m extremely thankful for having the chance to teach on the first character of the three mentioned, the son. It allowed me the chance to really dig into this story that I had heard a lot but never given much time to actually read. And I don’t just mean read the words and go about my day, I mean read like actually taking it apart word by word and studying it to squeeze out every bit of gold I could find. I’m excited about this because so often I just read God’s Word to check it off the list and say I got my time in but on this occasion, I had to study hard and what happened was AMAZING!!! I say all that to you today to challenge you and tell you to not make the mistake I make so often when it comes to taking in God’s Word. Don’t just read it, but actually READ it!!! Study the mess out of it and pray for God to show you what He desires for you to see!

Crazy to think of all the pieces of Scripture I look right over and how much pure, life-changing God Gold I’m missing out on because of my impatience and laziness. I want to encourage you in this today to no longer take these truths foregranted, to no longer read it just to get it done, or skip it because “you’ve already heard of that verse and it doesn’t interest you.” Whether you study this story today of the Prodigal Son or study something totally different, I challenge you with the same challenge for myself, DIG IN!!! STUDY IT then STUDY some more!!!

Think about it this way, when miners begin digging for Gold, they didn’t just take a few scoops of dirt out of the ground with their shovels and call it a day because they saw no gold. Miners kept digging, searching and doing everything in their power to find these precious and costly riches even if that meant going underground in caves, getting super dirty and working tirelessly. They kept digging because they had their heart set on finding Gold. When we open up God’s Word, we should take the miner’s same approach, digging and working tirelessly, no matter how long it takes to find that precious, life-giving, life-changing Gold that God has given to us!!!! If you don’t see God’s Gold at first, keep digging, then keep digging, and then keep digging even deeper! God will show His Gold to those who truly and whole-heartedly search for it!!!! He’s got riches waiting on you, don’t miss out on them!!!

‘And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'” ‘

Luke 15:11-32

Throwback Thursday: “Keeping Your Axe Sharp”

God Gold of the Day

Today is another “old Gold” for you that was written awhile back! It BLOWS MY MIND how something God teaches us years before can be so easily forgotten and such a perfect timed reminder! I read this Gold and I sat here with goosebumps at how much this truth was needed in my life. My axe has became dull, simple as that! My life right now is as busy as it’s ever been before, I’m wearing more hats and juggling more and more things, so if that’s the case for you too, why would we ever spend time trying to chop down a tree with a dull axe? It sounds dumb right? But unfortunately, myself and most of us a lot of the time get so caught up in the “to-do” of our lives, we lose track of the WHO that has given us this life, that has made the “to-do” possible, and the ONLY One who can keep our axe sharp as we chop away to make a dent in the tree that God has placed in front of us!

I pray and hope more than anything that God will use this message in a mighty way in your life. I pray it encourages you to stop, slow down and spend time with Him to sharpen your axe so we can start chopping down the tree of purpose that God has set before us together in the greatest possible way, with Him, through Him and FOR HIM!!!

“If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.”

Ecclesiastes 10:10

These verses opened me up a lot to see that I’ve been swinging an ax with a dull edge, really I’ve been an ax with a dull edge. With upcoming trips, long to do lists and always having somewhere to be I’ve slowly lost focus of what truly matters. Life will do that to you sometimes if you let it. I’ve been so caught up in getting everything done and being everywhere all the time that my personal time with the Lord has become less and less over the last few days so my trust has become more in my strength and less in the Lords. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this but I’ve been swinging the ax with all I’ve got, swinging, swinging and not stopping to take a breath and not realizing that with each swing I’m getting weaker, with each swing my ax gets a little less sharp. Not sure what it means by “skill” but I’ve thought about it as our constant focus. Our focus to make sure we stay close to God whether in His Word or in prayer, making sure our ax is sharp and we’re not just out here swinging away not making any dents in the tree. The big word for me lately has been STOP. Take time in my day to stop and spend some time with the Lord no matter how much life is throwing at me. That’s where that skill of becoming sharper takes place. It’s crazy how often I swing my ax and I’m so tired I can’t even see that the tree of life I’m swinging at doesn’t even have a mark on it. I’ll try to take big huge swings to get everything done at once and find myself at the end of my day with barely anything really done and more to do. When we focus in on that personal time with God before we start the day and constantly throughout the day it blows my mind how big the difference is. I’m not nearly as worn out and even if I didn’t check off everything on my to do list, that connection with God keeps me at peace about where I’m at and what I’ve done because it’s easier to notice those swings were in His will, and with His help. I’ve started doing something a little different lately to get rid of my crazy swinging, “I’ve got to get everything done” mentality. I started setting aside little periods of time throughout my day, maybe just 5 or 10 minutes with that time dedicated solely to sharpening my ax and making sure I’m where God wants me, doing what God wants me to do and swinging with Him. It gets overwhelming in our crazy schedules to set try and become sharp all at once so that’s why I said little amounts of time cause it’s easy to see 10 minutes of sharpening with God. Oh, that’s not bad at all I can do that for 10 minutes. It’s the same with working out, reading or whatever daily discipline you want to start doing with more skill and gain better results. It’s little amounts of time done constantly day in and day out and you may not see a difference at first but when it starts compounding over time the results are more visible than ever. It’s easy to make the decision to not sharpen the ax just as easy as it is to make the decision to sharpen it, I know if I stop trying to swing wildly and blindly and focus on that daily sharpening, my relationship with the Lord will become closer and closer and the stuff thrown at me in life becomes easier and easier to deal with cause it’ll be His strength I swing with and His will showing me where and when to swing. If you’re like me, you need to stop swinging so much and check your ax. The Lord gives us this life to live every day and everything we need to be successful in making a kingdom impact through it, we have to decide if we want to keep swinging a dull ax the rest our lives and be so worn out we don’t even realize we’re living. Or we can come to Him constantly to get sharper and sharper, actually living this life He’s given us and living it with purpose and skill to bring glory to His name. Hope all this wild rambling makes sense!

Nothing Easy About Good Seed

God Gold of the Day

‘So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. ‘

Galatians 6:9 

‘“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell#7:13 Greek The road that leads to destruction. is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.’

Matthew 7:13-14