Lord, I SURRENDER
by Esther Espinoza
Buried under the covers, heart racing, I held my breath as I turned another page of my Nancy Drew novel. Will the stalker attack her? Will she be discovered? Oh no! She’s just been whacked on the head by the bad guy. My nine-year-old heart froze; will she survive?
by Becky Carlson
W henever I head out to shop, run errands, and meet appointments, I always carry a few business-size cards with a code that anyone can scan to get a free mobile app for LifeTalk Radio. They are so easy to share with the cashier at Walmart—or anyone almost anywhere—just by saying, “Here is a card for you to get a free mobile app.” Everyone always takes it and says, “Thank You!” with a smile of surprise. Who doesn’t like to get a gift, right?
It is so simple, and yet I have shared a tool with the potential for gospel witnessing 24/7! When a person listens to LifeTalk Radio, they can hear the Good News and the truth about Jesus through uplifting programs and music. Many of those who scan the code to get the free mobile app would never allow a visitor from a church into their homes to hear a Bible study, but they will listen to Bible messages on LifeTalk Radio!
I have received positive comments from unchurched “atheists,” truth seekers, and people who are members of other denominations. Learn more at: www.lifetalk.net
Smiling every day. (20)
Volunteering at least once. (12)
Praying for a stranger every day. (10)
Offering a genuine compliment to someone everyday. (10)
Giving more hugs. (9)
Writing a personal note to a friend. (8)
Mentoring a young person. (7)
Sharing my personal testimony with a stranger. (6)
Visiting a neighbour. (5)
Visiting someone in the hospital or nursing home. (4)
My Experience at ASI’s Southern Union Chapter Meeting
by Kristi Jensen
Acouple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending ASI’s Southern Union Chapter meeting in Stone Mountain, GA. I left my university following class on Friday morning and arrived in Stone Mountain after lunch, just in time for the afternoon meeting presented by David Guerrero.
Initially, I was apprehensive; I didn’t know quite what to expect. Following Pastor Guerrero’s presentation, I introduced myself to several ASI’s staff members who I had only corresponded with via email. They welcomed me with open arms, kind smiles, and encouraging words. I immediately felt a part of a large, diverse, and remarkable family.
Throughout the weekend, I spoke with dozens of people who told me their life stories. Each testimony was unique, but there was One commonality—a calling from Christ to witness in a singular way. They had each followed the call and God had changed their lives.
I left on Sunday with a growing understanding of what makes ASI unique. Is it the mission? Yes. The drive, the talent, the ideas? Absolutely. But the true beauty of the ministry lies in its people. I have never met a group of people so genuinely and passionately radiating love and willing service. In Help in Daily Living, Ellen White says, “The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian” (p. 470). ASI personifies this message to its core.
I left Stone Mountain inspired. Inspired by the speakers and testimonies, yes; but more than anything, I was inspired by the dedication, the peace, the kindness, the joy, and the love that filled the lives of the people with whom I interacted. What’s more, their spirit was contagious and I left with more love in my heart.
I strongly encourage you to attend an ASI chapter meeting next spring. I promise you will not regret the decision.
Personal Testimony - Al Trace
At the Southern Union chapter meeting, I had the privilege of sitting down with Al Trace, the director for the School of Massage at Black Hills Health and Education Center in Hermosa, South Dakota. Before moving to South Dakota, Al Trace taught Advanced Massage Techniques at Wildwood. Al shared with me his incredible testimony of following God’s leading in his life during tough years of hardship and health challenges. As I began the interview, Al said:
“A lot of times as Christians, we are challenged to know how to share the gospel...But I would always tell my students that everyone’s got a story. God allows us experiences that can be life changing. I may not be able to challenge people with doctrinal statements, but nobody can refute my story.”
17 years ago, Al married Brenda, a woman he met online. Both Al and Brenda had been in previous marriages, and before they committed themselves to each other, they wanted to be sure that God would bless their relationship. Unbeknownst to Al, when Brenda and her ex-husband divorced, she prayed that if God wanted her to remarry, He would give her a clear sign—and not just any sign—but a black, leather-bound Bible.
Only a week and a half after meeting Brenda, Al proposed. Brenda agreed, but the newly engaged couple was still waiting upon the Lord for His blessing before marriage. Brenda admitted to Al that she had “laid out a fleece like Gideon” did in the Bible when seeking God’s guidance. Al jokingly asked for a hint about the fleece, but Brenda refused to say, reiterating that the fleece was between her and God and that she had never breathed a word about it to anyone.
Time went on, and after several months of long-distance dating, Al invited Brenda to come to Northern California to meet his kids and family. During this time, Al was in the process of moving out of his apartment. On a Thursday evening, Al and Brenda began packing up books from one of Al’s large bookcases. One of the books was a black, leather-bound Bible that had been gifted to Al and that he forgot he owned. He turned to Brenda, and asked if she would like the Bible.
“Are you giving it to me?” she asked.
“Yes, I’m giving it to you,” Al answered.
Brenda started crying and told Al the fleece she had laid before the Lord.
This sign encouraged Al and Brenda that the Lord would bless their relationship. 17 years later, they are still happily married.