Category Archives: testimony

Mysterious ‘Jesus photo’ stirs faith, brings comfort and peace to many

It was a blustery Saturday along the coast of Maine, with whitecaps forming to the horizon’s edge. Jane Dobson received some jolting

Jane Dobson with daughter Kirsten

news that morning, October 2, 2010. A close friend in Wisconsin had passed away the night before.

“She was a beloved sister in Christ, a very dear friend of mine,” Jane notes. “Her husband got up and thought she was asleep, but suddenly he realized she wasn’t breathing.” Her friend Kathleen died from a massive, unexpected heart attack at age 67.

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After two years in a coma doctors wanted to disconnect life support, then God woke him up

Randall Hall was once a free-wheeling playboy who traveled the world, went through women like “potato chips,” and dashed around

Hall before accident

town in his Mercedes 500 SL convertible. Seven clothing boutiques from Laguna Beach to San Francisco provided access to beautiful women ready to lay claim to his indulgent lifestyle.

Then he tried to move in on someone else’s girlfriend one night at a bar in this coastal enclave. The woman’s boyfriend savagely attacked Hall after he left the bar, which left him unconscious, lying face down in an alley with blood oozing from a cracked skull.

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Once an atheist, now a Messianic Jew

‘I looked at the sky and declared my atheism…but who was I announcing it to?

Rory White

He absorbed the complicated rhythms of the Sixties, which left him drug-dependent and filled with emptiness and pain. But then he encountered God’s glory in a blaze of light so powerful he couldn’t stand — and his life changed unalterably forever.

“When I first heard about the holocaust it was incomprehensible,” says Rory White, who grew up in a Jewish family in Los Angeles. He spent his earliest years in post-war Germany, due to his father’s work as a radiation researcher. He recalls that he played in bomb pits that covered the fields as far as he could see. “They filled with water and we caught pollywogs at the bottom,” he says.

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911 Remembrance: only known survivor from Trade Center impact zone pays tribute to God’s grace

His song of protection – Psalm 91:1

Stanley Praimnath

The 911 Commission credits Stanley Praimnath as the only known survivor from the impact zone at the World Trade Center towers on September 11.

“The Lord saw fit for me to live,” says Praimnath, who works in the banking industry in New York.  His riveting tale of survival is chronicled in “Plucked from the Fire” (Rosedog Books), coauthored with William Hennessey.

Praimnath, born in Guyana, came to America with little money in his pockets in 1981. When he arrived, Praimnath landed a job in the garment industry in Jersey City,New Jersey, where he earned $125 a week.  Then he got a job as a file clerk for a bank in downtown Manhattan.

Growing up in Guyana, his mother insisted he attend church, but he rebelled and drifted away during high school. “I woke up one day in America and decided I wanted to be a good guy, whatever ‘good’ means,” he recalls.  Then a friend called and invited him to church.  “The more I went, the more I liked what I saw,” Praimnath says.  He was born-again in 1983.

A few years later he married a pastor’s daughter and started a new career with Fuji Bank.  On the side, he helped his father-in-law plant a church in a rough neighborhood of Queens, New York.

Within five years Praimnath advanced to Asst. Vice-President, running all of Fuji Bank’s operations on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center, Tower 2.  That floor was immense—approximately one acre square, and almost completely soundproof from the outside.

Praimnath thought he was on top of the world – even planes flew at the same level.  When he looked down, everything looked small.  Praimnath says most of the people he worked with at Fuji Bank were Buddhists or Shinto; there were only a handful of Christians.

When most people went to lunch, Praimnath sat at his desk with a salad or soup, reading his Bible.  He tried to share about Christ when he had opportunities, but most didn’t want to hear.

Critical events transpire

On the morning of Sept. 11, he was riding up the elevator to his office at 8:45 a.m. when Tower One was hit by the first plane.  Riding in the elevator, Praimnath didn’t see or hear a thing.

As soon as he laid his briefcase down he began to receive a barrage of phone calls, first from his mother, then his wife and brothers.  “Stan, are you OK?” they asked.  He said, “Yes, yes, I’m fine,” but none of them told him what happened.  He wondered why his family was checking up on him.

When he hung up he glanced out his window for the first time.  He was stunned to see huge chunks of fiery debris—“fireballs”—falling from Tower One.  The other half of Fuji Bank’s operations were in that tower, so he called there to try to reach his boss.  There was no answer.

Praimnath decided it was time to get out, so he jumped in an elevator and headed down to the lobby.  He was about to go through the turnstile exit when a security guard stopped him.  “Where are you going?” the man asked.

“I’m going home,”Stanley said.

The security guard said: “No, the building is safe and secure, go back to your office.”  Soon an intercom was piping in the same message: “Your attention please, ladies and gentlemen, Building 2 is secure.  There is no need to evacuate Building 2.”

Praimnath got into the express elevator and in less than a minute was back up to the 81st floor.  Several of his co-workers rode in the same elevator.  They were laughing and exchanging pleasantries.  When he got off that elevator, it was the last time he would see them again.

He walked into his office and the phone rang immediately.  It was a woman from Chicago.  “Stan, Stan, get out, get out of the building.”  He assured the woman he was fine.  “But you’re not logged on to the computer,” she said. Stanley still didn’t know a plane hit the first building.

At eye-level with United flight 175 

As he assured the woman he was safe, he stood up near his desk, while he held the phone in his hand, and just happened to look toward the Statue of Liberty.  Suddenly he saw a huge plane, gray in color, that flew straight at him.  “It was coming at me at eye-level contact,” he notes.  Praimnath could make out the letter ‘U’ on the tail.  It was United flight 175.

“As the plane was getting nearer I could hear a revving sound the engine was making, like the sound a plane makes when it’s about to take off,” Praimnath says.  “Quadruple that sound, and that’s the sound I could hear, even in this soundproof building.  I can still hear that sound in my head,” he says.  “That sound will never go away.”

“I’m standing up looking at this plane getting bigger and nearer,” Praimnath says.  “You don’t know how fast your mind is reacting.”

In desperation he cried out to God:  “Lord, I can’t do this—you take over,” and he dove under his desk.  Praimnath’s Bible still sat on top of the desk.  The plane slammed into the building with immense force. The bottom of the wing sliced through his office and stuck in his office door 20 feet away from where he huddled.

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Cause for praise — three family members come to Christ in a few short days

I want to offer praise for what has transpired in our family over the last few days. On Saturday we ended our vacation in Wisconsin with Sally’s family. On our last morning

The dock near the cabin at Chippewa Flowage

at her Uncle’s cabin on the banks of the Chippewa Flowage, Sally’s Aunt Betty Lu, 88, prayed to receive Christ with Sally and me. It was a beautiful, still, morning at the lake and Sally and I had just gone kayaking. The lake was like glass. When we came in, Aunt Betty Lu came down to the dock, walking very slowly with her cane.

She had just read the book, “Heaven is for real,” and was excited about it. She had also become involved in church for the first time in her life, since her husband’s death a couple years ago. We got into a wonderful conversation with her and asked if she had an assurance about heaven. She said she was “working on it.” Sally and I both shared our testimonies and explained the Gospel. Then we asked if she wanted to be sure about heaven and say a prayer with us to receive Jesus. She said yes. It was a beautiful moment the Lord orchestrated.

Then we drove four hours to Appleton to stay with Sally’s other aunt, Cosette, who is 90, before we flew out the next morning. I”ve been praying for Aunt Cos’s salvation for many years. After dinner at her house, we got into a discussion about spiritual matters, and we all acknowledged this visit might be our last together. I told her that with Jesus, we could see each other some day in heaven. Again we shared our testimonies and dealt with a few issues she had before she prayed to receive Christ with us as well. Hallelujah, Lord!

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Former NFL football player found the Father’s blessing

After he tore all three ligaments in his knee, he thought his dream of future glory on the gridiron was over. Then God met him in a surprising way that changed the course of his life.

Ed Tandy McGlasson

 

From the start — before he drew his first breath – tragedy struck. “I never had a single moment with my father,” says Ed Tandy McGlasson, the former NFL offensive lineman who played for the Rams, Jets, and Giants. He is the founding pastor of the Stadium Vineyard inAnaheim,California.

Ed’s mother was eight months pregnant with him when a terrible accident brought heartbreak. “My father was a test pilot,” he says. “He was killed at 400 miles per hour.” The night before it happened, his mother had a premonition of disaster.

“Am I going to lose you?” she asked her husband. On that last night, Ed’s dad read the story of Jesus walking on the water toward the boat filled with his disciples. As he read, something caused him to circle the word “Come,” the invitation to Peter to walk by faith across the water toward Jesus.

“The next morning he crashed in the sea,” Ed says sadly.

Later Ed’s mother remarried a submarine commander. “He was a hard man whose father tried to beat the weakness out of him,” Ed recalls.

In his youth, Ed strove to live up to the image of his deceased father. “Everything I did was about securing and proving myself to the heroic dad I never saw,” he notes. “I pushed myself to the ‘nth’ degree.”

Walk-on at Youngstown State

Without sufficient funds for college, Ed tried to walk on theYoungstownStatefootball team. “We don’t have any scholarship money to give you,” Coach Bill Narduzzi told him.

Ed had a bold idea. “Coach, if I’m not the best football player you’ve ever seen in the next 10 days, don’t give me a scholarship, but if I am…”

“Son, if you’re that good I’ll mortgage my house to get you a scholarship,” Narduzzi replied.

For the next 10 days, Ed says he played like Dick Butkus, the Chicago Bears all-time great. Every drill was played at 110 percent.

After watching the display, Narduzzi approached him and put his arm on his shoulder pad. “Son, I don’t know where we’re getting the money, but consider yourself on a full ride at Youngstown State.”

Ed could hardly contain his glee, and began to nurture his dreams of playing one day in the NFL. But a serious injury threatened to derail his plans. One day at practice, there was a “freak” fumble on the ground.

Serious Injury

“A freshman dove through my left knee to get the fumble,” Ed recalls. As Ed collapsed he heard his knee ligaments rip. “It was an unbelievable sound in my head.”

Doctors told him all three major ligaments were torn and he would probably not play football again. He needed major reconstructive surgery the next morning.

Ed went back to his dorm room with an ice pack. “To say I was devastated would be an understatement,” he says. “Everything I worked for was gone. I didn’t know what to do.”

Then came a knock on his door. A young man named Bill Romanowski (no relation to the football player) entered the room, surveyed Ed’s sorry condition and said, “Hi Ed, I’m the campus pastor here.”

While Ed’s grandmother was a Christian Scientist, Ed had no interest or previous involvement in religion.

They exchanged a few pleasantries, then Romanowksi said, “Ed, you have a lot of things going for you, but you lack one thing.”

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When the party turned to prayer inBangalore

By Mark Ellis and Michelle Rice 

Although his parents were zealous missionaries, working in many villages on the outskirts of Bangalore, he wanted nothing to do with God. He saw Christian work as a weak and undesirable path for one’s life.

worship gathering

 

“I will never be in ministry,” Satish Kumar declared. His early years led him away from God in pursuit of worldly accomplishment. He found success working with a software company that did business inJapanand theUnited States. 

Without a wife or familial obligations, Kumar could define life as he saw fit. While he traveled and worked throughout the world, he lived the lifestyle of a seemingly endless party. However, his dreams of prosperity became his undoing. “I was addicted to success,” he admits. “I used drugs and alcohol and hurt a lot of people.” 

After a night of heavy socializing on the outskirts ofBangalore– going from one party to the next – Kumar and his friends followed the sounds of music toward what he presumed to be another party. 

Instead, Kumar found himself sitting in front of an all-night prayer meeting organized by his parents! “I don’t understand why I didn’t leave as soon as I saw my dad,” he says. 

His father read from 1 Corinthians 3: “Do you not know that you are atempleofGod, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys thetempleofGod, God will destroy him, for thetempleofGodis holy, and that is what you are.” 

As he listened, Kumar realized he was still high on drugs and alcohol.

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He laid his guitar on the altar and God honored the sacrifice

As a believer still young in his faith, God showed him that his passion for music was an obstacle to spiritual growth. After he sold his

Pastor Brad Coleman

guitar and parted with many of his albums, God honored his sacrifice in a surprising way. 

“Before I came to Christ, I was heavily involved with music – it was an obsession for me,” says Brad Coleman, the new pastor of worship and arts at Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

Although raised in a stable, Midwestern home where he attended church on Sundays, a personal relationship with God was lacking through his high school years. “Church had little to do with the way I lived or the core of who I was,” he notes. Coleman was never outwardly a rebel, but fell into hedonistic pursuits with friends. “I partied but I didn’t go crazy,” he says. 

When he left for college, he decided to leave some of the revelry behind. “I had an awareness the party scene was stupid, but I fell right back into it. I had nothing that would give me the backbone to say ‘I’m not going to do that.’” 

At Miami University of Ohio, Coleman came face-to-face with two art students, Chuck and Rich Bostwick, who left an indelible mark. “This was the first time I closely observed two people who had a dynamic, growing relationship with Christ,” Coleman recalls. “Their lives were absolutely informed by their relationship with God.” 

As he watched the Bostwick twins up-close, he admired their skill and dedication as artists. “They were hardworking and had a great vision,” he notes.  Their winsome personalities seemed to light up any room they entered. 

On several occasions they invited Coleman to consider a personal relationship with Christ, but he was resistant. “They never shied away from entering into that kind of dialogue without condemnation,” he says. 

Coleman always had the same response to their appeal: “That’s awesome for you. I personally don’t need that, but I’m glad you found it.” 

However, his outward stance belied an inward tension. “I clearly did need it,” he admits now, “because I couldn’t resist following the crowd.” 

Independently, Coleman’s roommate was talking with friends at Campus Crusade for Christ. He brought home a copy of “More Than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell and left it sitting on their coffee table. 

Continue reading at: http://blog.godreports.com/2011/07/he-laid-his-guitar-on-the-altar-and-god-honored-the-sacrifice/

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Eat, Pray and Love: How a Bible verse written in lipstick and a trip to the Sistine Chapel brought spiritual awakening

When she sat down in front of a vanity to have her hair done in her sophomore year of college, there was no way to know this would mark the beginning of a spiritual journey that would change the course of her life.

Stephanie in Ghana

“People always talk about the incredible changes that occur during college, but I had no idea what I was in for,” says Stephanie May, a recent graduate of theUniversityofColorado. “It was wonderful, but also a really rough time in my life.”

Raised in the Episcopal Church, she always believed in God, but knew nothing about the Bible. “I would have called myself a Christian, but it was more for the ‘morally upright’ social connotation I felt came with it,” she says.  Admittedly, her moral choices reflected a self-centered, rather than God-centered approach to life.

“I completely lost myself in my search for happiness and completion. I looked everywhere — getting caught up in all of the destructive pastimes that college so conveniently provides,” she says.

Beneath surface appearances, she felt “there was a greater plan at work…that somewhere down the line I would see why everything had happened the way it did.” 

On a Friday night during her sophomore year, she sat down with the president of her sorority for a haircut. “She was famous for doing hair, so I found myself sitting in the chair in front of her vanity as she teased my hair within an inch of its life,” Stephanie recalls.
 
As she gazed into the mirror, she saw something unusual. “I noticed a quote written in lipstick. I’ve always been a quote junkie and so it piqued my interest right away,” she notes.

The quote said “Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed. For I’m going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Habakkuk 1:5)
 
Something about the words captivated Stephanie’s heart.

Continue reading at: http://blog.godreports.com/2011/05/eat-pray-and-love-how-a-bible-verse-written-in-lipstick-and-a-trip-to-the-sistine-chapel-brought-spiritual-awakening/

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Olympic swimming champion found unconditional love in Jesus

John Naber

As an Olympic swimmer on theU.S.team, he won four gold medals and set as many world records at the 1976 games inMontreal. His relaxed demeanor in high-pressure competition set him apart from other athletes – all because of an unseen presence that profoundly altered his focus before races. 

“I like the water; I’m comfortable there,” says John Naber, sports broadcaster, author, and motivational speaker. 

His father was a management consultant who moved frequently, so in John’s first 12 years he lived in six different houses. He also spent seven years in Europe, which led to a summer tour ofOlympia,Greece, the site of the ancient competition. 

The family’s tour guide atOlympiaexplained the importance of sportsmanship in the early games and noted the ancients even built a Hall of Shame for cheaters in their events. Impressed by this, 10-year-old John turned to his mother and said, “I want to be an Olympian one day.” 

“What sport?” his mother asked, knowing he hadn’t demonstrated any hint of future greatness. 

“I have no idea,” the youngster replied. 

As a freshman atWoodsideHigh SchoolnearStanfordUniversity, Naber befriended a swimmer who won a silver medal in the Junior Olympics. Inspired by his new friend, Naber decided to join the swim team. 

“I jumped in the pool and found myself swimming laps,” he recalls. “I was cramping up but I enjoyed the process of racing the clock.” Naber didn’t win a race in his first two years of competition, but the stopwatch looked better and better with each passing month. 

By his junior year, Naber was the best swimmer on the team and he had even begun to entertain the idea of trying out for the 1972 Olympic team, but a serious setback derailed his plans. As he clowned with friends, he broke his collarbone after a springboard launched him into the side of the pool, while trying to avoid a lane rope as tight as a guitar string. 

Continue reading at: http://blog.godreports.com/2011/04/olympic-swimming-champion-found-unconditional-love-in-jesus/

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