B. Starke – September 2018

What is it that Jesus did for or through you (and when)?

So much! The most healing experience was many years ago. For the first 12 years as a Christian, I was very busy trying to earn the Father’s approval. I would do 4-hour Bible studies every day – if I only got two hours in I thought I was “backsliding.” I ministered to 2-4 people every day. I led people to God, led worship at my church for 6 years, led bible study groups, etc. Sounds like a lot of “fruit” [evidence of humble, authentic faith], doesn’t it? But it wasn’t fruit – it was “works” [trying to “prove” how good I am by what I do on my own strength]. I was trying to earn the Father’s approval. One day I had a vision of Jesus standing in heaven before God who was sitting on the throne. I ran towards Jesus exclaiming, “Thank you, Jesus, that because of you I have access to the Father.” In amazement, I realized both God the Father and Jesus were weeping. I understood they were filled with sorrow that I didn’t understand that the Father loved me as much as Jesus did. That vision healed me from the false picture I had of Father God as a punisher, slave driver and not “the lover of my soul.” Since then, I have known the Father’s love and approval and live out of that, rather than doing “works” to gain his love and approval. Through many hardships since this vision, the Father and Jesus have sustained me with their love, care and healing. Not to mention the Holy Spirit. I have never doubted the Father’s love again.

Are you a new Christian?

No, I became a Christian over 45 years ago through the Jesus people movement.

How did you first discover Living Stones Church?

I knew the original 6 founding members. I made LSC my home around 1993.

Do you have a story of answered prayer or “aha” moments?

Many. After 45 years I should think so. LOL!

What’s it like for you to “do life” with us here at LSC?

I love LSC… the people here. I’m blessed to be involved with several ministries and am 110% grateful that Pastor Paul preaches right from the Bible. We are incredibly blessed to have a pastor who does not compromise and is such a scholarly teacher.

Do you have any words of encouragement for someone who may be searching for God or is new to our church?

No matter how hard life gets, hang in there. There is nothing we can do to earn His love and there is nothing we can do to lose it. And if you’re going through a hard time: Joy is not the absence of sorrow. Joy is the presence of the Lord.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I want to thank our church family at Living Stones for their faithful prayers and support for my family and me over the last several years. You have been there through the good and the bad times, and I couldn’t have done it without you. Love and Blessings!