The Power of Testimony

When we fail to tell people what the Lord has done in our lives; we fail at giving them opportunity to know and serve Him.

I get annoyed when I hear people say to a person sharing their experience with God, “You are always telling that story!”  Why?  Because there are so many texts in the Bible where generations of people fall away from the Almighty God because  – they did not know the Lord and what He had done for their fathers.  Think of the amazing things the Lord did for the Israelites – think about their deliverance from the Egyptians and how their children after them fell away to false gods!

The Word of God tells us that we overcome by the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb.  I am not inclined to think that this word of testimony is talking only about our salvation from sin and death; but every victory that we have won in the power of Christ!

No matter where you are, there is sure to be someone in the room who is deciding whether or not Christ is the answer for them.  You can not always know what people are struggling with, but you can rest assured that whatever He saved you from – there is someone else who needs to know His power in that same way!

I am always telling my children about the power of obedience to Christ.  I know for certain that my life would have been very, very different had I not heeded His call even though I did not like what He was calling me to!  So, whenever any of them have a decision to make my first question is, “Have you talked to the Lord about it?”  That is quickly followed up with my testimony, which they have heard now hundreds of times.  I don’t call it beating a dead horse – I call it reinforcing for them power, peace, victory and joy that comes when you obey.  If my children don’t obey God, it won’t be because I didn’t teach them.  They can never say that no one ever told them to just obey God.

19225458_1832950003388471_1539705968881985503_nThis photo is of my mother-in-love, Beatrice Evelyn Sorrell Chinn.  She passed away in 1996.  One of the most beautiful memories I have of my mother-in-law is her journals.  She wrote down her prayers for her children, her daughters-in-law, her grandchildren.

We found those journals after her death.  They served as a reminder to us that she trusted in God for all that concerned us and it reminded us to place our trust in Him as well.

Will your posterity know in whom you trusted?  I don’t know what your testimony is — but especially in your family and in your spheres of influence – Tell Your Story!  You were once blind – but now you see!  You were once lost – but now you’re found.

You were once ___________________________; but now you’re ________________________.  Tell It!


Joshua 2:10

And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers.  And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.  

Serving in Sorrow

Jesus WordleThere are some things about the culture of the world that are the same across boundaries; across ethnic differences; across color lines –  and selfishness is one of those things.  99.9% of us think of ourselves first especially when we are in difficulty – we want people to see us and care for us and we want a break from giving ourselves away.  Unfortunately, that is not the way the call of God works.

Those who we are discipling need teaching and direction.  Those who are hurting need love and compassion.  Those who are lost need the path to our Lord, Christ. Those who are in despair need to be given a picture of hope.  And wouldn’t you know it! – the children of God; those redeemed by Jesus Christ; we are responsible always for giving our lives, hearts, love, compassion, truth, hope, peace, joy – to the world.  Even when we ourselves are in need!

In the last year I’ve lost both my nephew and his mother, my oldest sister.  I’ve also had some health challenges that have been both an enigma and an inconvenience.  People who love me are constantly telling me to rest; to take some time away; to take a break – and I am giving my mind and heart times of rest, but not neglecting my calling. As I read God’s Word and look at the beheading of John, I know that Jesus was retreating from danger and opposition; but in light of my recent losses, it appears to me that my Savior is also grieving the loss of His cousin and ministry forerunner.  However, even in this time of struggle and bereavement He continues in His ministry, allowing His compassion for the world to reign!

I want to be like Him! So … I too will keep going; keep pressing; keep loving; keep listening.  I do have to readjust some things – I have to travel to Africa for shorter periods; I cannot drive; I have to keep my stress down – but it doesn’t mean that I cannot show love and be a missionary right where I am.  Inviting my neighbors into my home; speaking words of grace to the cashier; showing love in ways that speak to my mother and my sister in our family’s great grief.

I cannot allow the troubles of this world or the pain that is piercing my heart to keep me from carrying out my calling.  It is my privilege and duty to be God’s love in a lost world!  I need His compassion and peace in my heart – so I’ve got to be ready to give His compassion and peace away!  Blessed in order that I might Bless others.

God Himself will strengthen me and He will also be The One those in need see!  I’m His chosen one even in my own times of trouble.  My duty is to Him – ALWAYS!

His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.  Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. Matthew 14: 12- 14

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Trust In The Good LordMany find comfort in these words – but for me, they can cause angst.  It’s the word “let” that causes problems for me.  I mean, what am I supposed to do when the trials and problems of life really do give me pause or cause me to have fear?

I know – I know –  I know what you Christian folk are saying, “Jan! take the thought captive, bring the thought into submission with the will of God, trust, I KNOW!!  But that word “let” still gives me a lump in my throat.

Maybe you never had an issue where the money was just not enough to meet your obligations.  Maybe you have never faced the type of illness that a doctor says cannot be cured.  Maybe your life is on course and you are not only joyful but prosperous.  That is what I tell myself when I encounter people who tell me not to allow myself to worry.  I say to myself that they have no idea what it is like to be in my shoes!

Well, I Thank God for His Word!  These words were spoken by the very Son of God, and knowing that Jesus said the words tells me that it really is possible for me to disallow my heart from fainting at the first sign of trouble.

I go on to read Christ’s words in Matthew 24 as he describes the perilous times the world will face but he reminds those that follow Him that they are not alone.  And then I remember that the Word of God gave me another “let” that gives me power and strength – “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 2:5)– and as I continue to read His Word and allow Him to speak to me I am reminded that if I have the mind of Christ I cannot be troubled for it is against the mind of Christ for me to have a troubled heart or mind even when all around me seems full of trouble.  Then I remember that He also told me that if I could only remember at all times that He has already overcome the world – I will know that I too will overcome.

Now, let me say that my heart began to feel lighter and the lump in my throat was less uncomfortable.  Let me also be clear that my situation had not (and indeed has not) changed – yet I am hopeful, truly, that He desires to and will indeed work it all out for my good and for His glory.  So today, you know – later on after I start thinking about my trouble again – the moment it seems that my heart just might faint, I will not let my heart be troubled, instead I will start singing, clapping, dancing and praising Him in advance of my deliverance!  As I praise – it will lift my heart from trouble to a place of triumph and I will not be able to stop myself from rejoicing.

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled! As my mama always tell me,  “Just trust in the Good Lord!”

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. 

John 14:1

Keep Calm and Endure


As the year draws to a close – many of us have had unimaginable challenges. We just want 2017 to go away. Sadly, there are those who could not wait for the new year and believed the enemy’s lie that death was their only escape. It might seem rough but I promise that God has a word that will bring life.

We won’t understand the trials apart from His wisdom. 

Apart from the Holy spirit, we do not have within us what it takes to comprehend God’s view of life. Therefore, when we are in trials we tend to desire escape and not endurance! If we would pause and ask God to help us to understand – God, will gladly open our spiritual eyes and our hearts so that we will have the insight to stick it out. He will give us clarity as often as we need it if we but ask.

There is a catch though: when we ask Him for insight into His wisdom, we must be ready to receive what He says without doubt, without selfish motives, without a mindset ready to reject what He reveals. Sickness, death, pain, disappointment are sometimes a part of God’s plan! (Isaiah 45:7)

No matter what He reveals His will to be; if we don’t truly trust that He is faithful and all powerful – we will be driven by something other than faith in God – something other than reliance upon the Holy Spirit. Our fears and doubts and even our unwillingness to accept God’s will put us in the precarious position of being controlled by what is going on rather than being controlled by God. If we don’t want the pressures of life to rule our actions and our thoughts – we must purpose to accept ALWAYS God’s will; trusting that in His faithfulness and power, He will give us the wisdom that allows us to see life from His perspective and that He is faithful to work all things together for our good and His glory. Very cool when you think about it – He doesn’t ask us to trust Him blindly – He only asks that we come to Him (and not lean on our own understanding) for our eyes to be opened!

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6

The beauty of it — the thing that makes it marvelous for believers in God; in believers in Jesus Christ is the fact that we KNOW that all things work together for good for those of us who have affections for him and attention from Him – Romans 8:28 (thank you Pastor Blake Wilson). So Happy New Year!!  Endure!!

Even Victory Requires Courage!

joshua1_9Often, when I hear people speak of the favor of the Lord; they speak in tones that say, “If I do this His way and am in His will – this will be easy street!”  I’ve even had people to say to me that when they are trying to accomplish something for God and it seems that they are facing too much difficulty and feeling like they are putting up a fight, they take that as a sign that they are not going God’s way.  This, however, is not a biblical truth.

The Lord can speak to you assuring you victory in a certain situation but that does not ever mean that you won’t have to work for it.  It does not mean you won’t have to even fight for it.  As I look back over my own life, I can testify that where I am today as the maidservant of the Lord did not come without lots of opposition and some pretty intense fighting!!

I am not aware of what the Lord has promised you or what word He has sent someone to speak over or into your life.  But whatever it is – you have to believe that it is worth a fight and you have to resolve to be strong and courageous; standing firm until your victory is won!  His promises are yes and Amen! – but He never promised any of us an easy road.  If the Lord said it it is a sure thing!  Believe it is so!  The enemy and those who are being used by the enemy would love to thwart God’s plans for your life!  Never forget that the God who has made the promise never ever fails — never give up without a fight!

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.Have I not commanded you?Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”… Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.””
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:6-7, 9, 18‬