Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and power and the kingdom of God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
Revelation 12:10-11 NIV
It was a Sunday morning in Lubbock, Texas, back in 2000 where our journey began. As I was waiting for Kristi and the kids to get ready for church, I sat down in the living room with my second cup of coffee and turned on the television to entertain myself while the hairdryers were buzzing in the background. I found my way to CBS and one of my favorite programs “CBS Sunday Morning”. The host Charles Osgood introduced a segment called “Everybody has a story”. In the segment, the reporter, Steve Hartman was interviewing someone. The person being interviewed was an ordinary person, and they were telling their story. I don’t remember specifically who the person being interviewed was or what the interview was about, but that was 9 minutes of television that would eventually change our lives. At the moment the segment was over, the thought came to me, “Everyone has a story, but what is there Jesus Story?” In other words, what if we could see or hear a story about what God was doing in the lives of his people every week? Think of it, ordinary people like you and me, telling stories of our victories, our struggles, our miracles and our second chances.
There is a difference in a story of life and a story or testimony as to what God is doing or has done in someones life. I think the problem is that we seem to underestimate the power of a story or a testimony. Revelation 12:11 gives us the power of a testimony. In the scripture John say that we overcome the accuser by the blood of the lamb AND the word of their testimony. There isn’t a period after the blood of the lamb, there is an AND. Testimonies have tremendous power, because these God stories or testimonies, and I believe there are 3 dimensional to testimonies, let me explain.
The first dimension is the person telling their story or the teller. Research shows that when we have a chance to share our testimonies, the person that is telling their story is 11% happier. People want to tell their stories, they desperately want to share what God is doing or has done in their lives. God wants to tell His story thru the lives of people. We want to create space of people to share and a platform to let the world know what God is doing in the lives of His children.
The second dimension is the person who hears the story or testimony or the hearer. The hearer has the wonderful privilege of having there lives potentially changed. People need to hear the testimony to know their not alone in there struggles. It’s a beautiful thing to find out all the tough times that you have be going thru to find out other people go thru the same struggles. To think if God can heal that person than I know He can heal me, the hearer finds hope. When we hear of miracles that God is doing in peoples lives, it encourages us to keep believing and keep praying.
The third dimension is what makes a God story or testimony different from any other story, since it all points back to what God is doing, the mere act of a testimony is simply worship. Testimonies also let us know more of God’s character and how much He loves us. The more we know how much He loves us, the more we want to know His story. So the third and final dimension of a testimony is worship and praise to our heavenly Father. We are praising God for what He has done or is in the process of doing. Worship.
So how did we get from 2000 when I saw the first episode of “Everybody has a story” to where we are today. Well, it was pretty simple, life just happened. We went to work, raised a family, moved from Texas to Iowa and then back to Texas, got promoted to my dream career, became an executive officer of a Fortune 100 company, had 4 grandchildren, you know, just ordinary life stuff. All that time we carried the dream of someday being able to share the stories of peoples lives that had been changed by their God story. In January 2017 things began to change, as this became a year that we were learning to just trust God. During that time we began to feel that God was moving us in a completely opposite direction, and we would have to learn to just trust in what God was doing in our lives.
January 2018 rolled around and we really felt like God was telling us it was time for us to make our move. So on March 30, 2018, which was also Good Friday, I walked out of my office for the last time. We gave up a 22 year career in management with a Fortune 100 company to follow a dream that God put on our hearts some 20 years ago. Our purpose is to record and share the testimonies or stories of people across this country.
As we travel the country, we continue to be amazed at what God is doing in the lives of his people. It is our prayer, that thru these stories, you will find strength in knowing you’re not alone, courage to keep believing, hope to keep praying and thankfulness for the miracles that He is doing in our world today. Who know’s, your story may be the story that changes someone’s eternity…..