Good Day SWORDS!
Today we have Sharleen’s Testimony from down under…Australia. 🙂 I hope it will interest you and encourage you, as it surely did me!
Please remember to keep Christians around the world in the body of Christ in prayer.
Testimony by Sharleen AU
I was raised by loving parents but in a non-Christian home. Fortunately I had plenty of wonderful Christians around me such as cousin, and grandparents so knew about God’s love. At 7 years old I gave ‘my heart’ to God at a camp so I wouldn’t be left behind and get the ‘mark’. Back home though, I forgot about my conversion and slowly drifted away and by a teenager was involved in many things wild teenagers seemed involved in. One dark stormy night (well dark) a girl spoke to me about her fear of Jesus returning and being left behind, as she had turn away from God. The name Jesus sent fear through me and the very next Sunday my cousin and I were in a charismatic, NIV reading, church. I was so frightened that Jesus would return before the end of the sermon – which happened to be on the second coming. That night my cousin and I become a Christian ‘again’. Three months later I was living in Switzerland away from the bad influences of my friends and my life was totally transformed. I loved God and was thankful to him for saving me from hell.
In Switzerland went to an international evangelical Church and was baptized in Lake Geneva – after being shown in the bible how it was necessary from Matthew 28. Later I worked for Anglicans in a Christian community in England and learnt about the ‘book of prayer and liturgy’ and had to run morning services. I questioned women leading services but was assured by ministers it was a good thing. Years later I was back to the charismatic church again in outback of Australia. I met my Uniting Church husband, Glenn, and we both were struggling with the Church and the ‘leg straightening’s’ and though things were in the bible, something didn’t feel right. Due to this confusion we left the charismatic church. We moved to the coast and went to a Presbyterian church and left as the minister wouldn’t anoint people with oil when they were sick. He couldn’t tell us why not – even though the bible said he should. We wanted answers – why wasn’t there healing and why did other Churches ignore Acts and Jesus’ examples?
At the time I held a small women’s group at home and a lady and her daughter introduced us to the KJV. (Very few people read it in Australian churches). We were taken back about the corrupt versions and straight away started reading the KJV and read things we had never read before. We then went to another Church and were asked to become involved in youth ministry, but first my husband needed to be baptized. He didn’t see the need and wanted to be shown it in scripture – I was horrified that he would question such a thing – what sort of man did I marry? I asked my new (KJV) friends and they gave him two books, one for and one against. Against? Did they belong to a cult?? The book against was by Baker and Glenn was absorbed in it and totally took it in. Then the games began. We soaked up any teaching we could get – very, very limited and I studied with my new friends. Exciting times – this was 2005. Then we weren’t happy with the Churches. Went to an Independent Baptist Church and it ended up breaking up – it had many Grace believers in it ……. the mature grace believers had enough of going to Church to Church and some choose to all go to a Presbyterian one and have stayed there – others drifted. We, still being fired up with this new concept tried to learn from the book Unsearchable Riches and were slowly getting through that. Not settling in any church well.
Years later at another Independent Baptist Church the preacher was criticizing the ‘ultra dispensational’ beliefs from the Bereans website. By now 2013 we were slipping from learning and just rolling with the Church life. We forgot about that website and found it again and Glenn downloaded Sadlers sermons and I found a link to Mari talking at a conference and discussing starting a bible group on line. I wrote to the site and they got me in contact with Mari and SWORDS. There were additional grace sites listed and we got linked also with Grace Ambassadors where I could download sermons easily. From there Glenn and I have been studying and listening and growing and growing. And leaving Church – again. Praise God for the resources now. Now we continue to flounder and are out of face to face fellowship. Glenn struggles with this so we go back and forth to various Churches which get me cranky, Glenn frustrated, kids bored – but we are having ‘fellowship’ J. Praise God for the relief valve of SWORDS.