When I was little, probably about 5 or 6, I remember waking my mom in the middle of the night wanting a drink. the way our little apartment was situated, you could see my parents’ bedroom door from the kitchen. To this day, I vividly remember looking over and seeing a white figure, like a white silhouette in the doorway of their room. It took up the full height and width of the doorway. Being half asleep and groggy eyed, I asked my mom, “Why is Dad standing there in the door?” She responded and said he wasn’t, he was asleep in bed. Now you might call it the imagination of a child, but I choose to believe it was an angel of God watching over and protecting our family.
As I said previously, I had a great childhood, growing up in a godly environment and church that preached biblical truth. We had a great Sunday school program, and I had many awesome teachers through the years. I am very thankful for the truth I learned growing up about God and His salvation. At the age of nine, in a Wednesday night service, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance, just like the Bible talks about in the Book of Acts. The following Sunday I was baptized in Jesus’ Name, the only biblically correct way of baptism. It was an incredible experience. At that age, however, I don’t know if I fully understood the gravity of what it meant to be saved. I knew Jesus loved me. I knew He was God who came to earth, and robed Himself in flesh. I knew he suffered, bled, and died a horrific death on the cross for my sins. But I don’t think I truly understood what it meant to live “saved.” That came with time and age.
I am extremely blessed to have been raised in the family I was raised in. It’s only by the grace and mercy of God that He kept me from many things. I don’t know what it tastes like to smoke a cigarette. I don’t know what it feels like to be drunk on alcohol. I don’t know what it feels like to be high on drugs. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a broken home with only one parent. I do, however, know what it feels like to be in His presence. I know what it feels like to have His Spirit wash over me. I know what it feels like to be brought to my knees under the power of His awesome presence. I know what it’s like to see His healing power touch someone and make him whole again. I could not list all the wonderful things God has done for me, done in my life, and done in the lives of many other people I know.
All this isn’t to say my life has always been sunshine and roses. I have had my own struggles. But no matter how many times I have let Him down, God never fails to show His mercy and grace. I am so thankful for His faithfulness!
As I said, growing up, I didn’t always truly understand what it meant to be saved. Growing up in church, I knew how to have “church.” I knew how to go through the motions. I knew how to act “saved.” But looking back, I know my relationship with God was much more on the surface than in the heart, and I’m not proud to say that. I know, however, that God has had a plan and a purpose for my life all along.
In March of 2009 I went on a trip to Greece for apostolic single adults. It was sponsored by the United Pentecostal Church International, the organization that my church was a part of. Since I went to school for architecture, Greece was always one of the top places in the world I wanted to see. Little did I know that God had another plan in mind. I met a young woman on this trip named Alyson. We didn’t really hit it off right away, but we kept in
contact. The only problem was that she was living in Pennsylvania and I was living in Rhode Island. Finally, in December of 2009 we started got more serious. We had a long distance relationship for a year and got engaged on Christmas Day 2010. In the meantime, I was looking for a job to relocate to PA. In April 2011, the Lord provided a job and a place to live that allowed me to move. We immediately set the date and got married September 3, 2011. Just a couple short years later, the Lord blessed us with our first child, a beautiful little girl named Lyla Claire.
Leaving my family and friends and the only place I had ever called home was not easy. I know, however, that it was God’s plan for my life. Being a part of Carlisle Christian Fellowship has been an incredible blessing for my life. I have been to many churches in my life, but just like many people say when they visit, there’s something different about CCF. I can say it has helped me be a better man and leader of my family. It has helped me grow deeper in my relationship with and understanding of Jesus Christ, who He is and what He desires for my life. I might not have it all figured out just yet, but I’m glad the Lord is still working in my life!
I pray that anyone who reads this testimony will know that Jesus loves YOU unconditionally! He shed His blood and died on the cross for YOU. And He desires an intimate relationship with YOU. No matter what you might have done, His grace is sufficient and His mercy endures forever! At CCF you will find a place to call home. You will feel His love and compassion. You will hear great preaching and teaching based on biblical truth. You will find a place that is more than just a church to attend. It is truly a place to belong and believe!
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My testimony begins many years ago with my parents Kevin and Judy. They met in a local church not long after they were both saved. The Lord had done a miraculous work in both their lives and He was calling my dad into ministry. A couple years after they got married, I was born on April 22, 1986. I grew up in a little Pentecostal church, New Life Tabernacle, in New Bedford, MA, where my dad was also the assistant pastor for many of those years.
Growing up I had a great childhood. For many years my mom did at-home daycare, which allowed her to be home with my older brother and I. Although we were never wealthy, I don’t ever remember a time where we went without. It never dawned on me when I was younger but as I got older, and looking back now, I know we were truly blessed and God always provided. I believe He always had His hand on our family.
My Testimony by Nathan Horne